Behemoth: Seppuku (Rifters Series #4)

Overview

Lenie Clarke-amphibious cyborg, Meltdown Madonna, agent of the Apocalypse-has grown sick to death of her own cowardice.

For five years (since the events recounted in Maelstrom0, she and her bionic brethren (modified to work in the rift valleys of the ocean floor) have hidden in the mountains of the deep Atlantic. The facility they commandeered was more than a secret station on the ocean floor. Atlantis was an exit strategy for the corporate elite, a place where the world's ...

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2005 Hardcover New New in new dust jacket. BRAND NEW. First edition. First printing. Never read or opened. No remainder mark. Glued binding. Cloth over boards. 304 p. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Lenie Clarke-amphibious cyborg, Meltdown Madonna, agent of the Apocalypse-has grown sick to death of her own cowardice.

For five years (since the events recounted in Maelstrom0, she and her bionic brethren (modified to work in the rift valleys of the ocean floor) have hidden in the mountains of the deep Atlantic. The facility they commandeered was more than a secret station on the ocean floor. Atlantis was an exit strategy for the corporate elite, a place where the world's Movers and Shakers had hidden from the doomsday microbe ßehemoth-and from the hordes of the moved and the shaken left behind. For five years "rifters" and "corpses" have lived in a state of uneasy truce, united by fear of the outside world.

But now that world closes in. An unknown enemy hunts them through the crushing darkness of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. ßehemoth- twisted, mutated, more virulent than ever-has found them already. The fragile armistice between the rifters and their one-time masters has exploded into all-out war, and not even the legendary Lenie Clarke can take back the body count.

Billions have died since she loosed ßehemoth upon the world. Billions more are bound to. The whole biosphere came apart at the seams while Lenie Clarke hid at the bottom of the sea and did nothing. But now there is no place left to hide. The consequences of past acts reach inexorably to the very floor of the world, and Lenie Clarke must return to confront the mess she made.

Redemption doesn't come easy with the blood of a world on your hands. But even after five years in pitch-black purgatory, Lenie Clarke is still Lenie Clarke. There will be consequences for anyone who gets in her way-and worse ones, perhaps, if she succeeds...

ßehemoth: Seppuku concludes the final act (begun in ßehemoth: ß-Max) of Peter Watts's chilling and powerful Rifters series.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Starfish and Maelstrom:

"I have no hesitation in recommending both books to readers interested in up-to-date science fiction with a seriously paranoid edge."—The New York Times

"Watts moves from the relentless pressure of Starfish to the frantic speed of chaos in action, never losing the tight focus on his fascinating characters in this excellent sequel to his debut novel."--Booklist [Starred Review]

"Watts has grown into a powerful hard-SF voice in the space of only two books. . . .With its worst-case-scenario setting and thoroughly compelling characters, Maelstrom delivers on all the promises hard SF has ever thought to make, bundling future science and a suspenseful story into a single thrilling package." -Locus

Praise for ßehemoth: ß-Max:

"One of the novel's most fascinating aspects is its extremely inhospitable setting, under 300 atmospheres pressure at the ocean's sunless floor. Readers will also find themselves unwillingly gripped by the simultaneously flawed and ferocious characters, shaped by a social situation bleaker than anything outside John Shirley's early novels. . . .They're uncomfortably believable, like us at our least generous moments. Finally, the writing is compelling, jittery, full of dark irony."-Publishers Weekly

Gerald Jonas
This bare-bones synopsis cannot convey the complex moral calculus that Watts embodies in his ambitious tale of conscience deferred. Everyone involved in the harrowing denouement is both wounded and culpable. And, very much to the point, even readers may feel complicit when they find themselves sympathizing with characters who have been responsible for as many as a billion deaths.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
In Canadian author Watts's intense, beautifully written conclusion to his Rifters trilogy (after 2004's Behemoth: a-Max), Lenie Clarke, the near-psychotic, bio-engineered woman who loosed the deadly organism known as aehemoth on an already environmentally compromised world, resurfaces from the ocean's depths to discover who's behind continuing efforts to destroy all life on Earth. Together with Lubin, a bio-engineered man who's a highly efficient killer, Clarke discovers an America that has been devastated, not just by Behemoth but by attacks from heavily fortified, high-tech enclaves whose rulers will stop at nothing in a futile attempt to contain the out-of-control organism. Worse still, the battle is apparently being led by Achilles Desjardins, a murderous psychopath who has slipped the protective psychological programming that once kept his darker impulses under control. Aided by Taka Ouellette, a guilt-ridden, second-rate physician, Clarke and Lubin strive desperately to unravel the secrets of both Behemoth and Seppuku, its even more dangerous mutation. Like some adrenaline-charged fusion of Clarke's The Deep Range and Gibson's Neuromancer, Watts's trilogy represents a major addition to early 21st-century hard SF. Agent, Donald Maass. (Jan. 5) FYI: As an author's note explains, this is the second half of aehemoth, which was split in two by the publisher against Watts's wishes. The trilogy should be read in order, starting with 1999's Starfish. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Five years after unleashing the doomsday microbe Behemoth on the world and causing death on an apocalyptic scale, cyborg Lenie Clarke attempts to redeem herself by confronting and defeating the runaway microbe. This sequel to Behemoth: B-Max completes the third volume of Watts's hard-science Rifters trilogy (Maelstrom; Starfish). Memorable characters and action-packed scenes of high drama and taut suspense make this a good choice for sf collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fourth entry in Watts's postapocalyptic "trilogy" begun with Starfish (1999), although the author does warn us: "Stop right there! This is not a complete novel . . . If you haven't read Part 1 (ssehemoth: ss-Max), you should do so before embarking on this book." The advice is sound. Nonreaders of Part 1 will grasp, eventually, that ssehemoth, an archaic non-DNA microorganism from the deep oceans, has invaded the land, devastating the defenseless modern-DNA ecology. In North America, some communities shelter behind elaborate barriers, hoping to keep the organism at bay; outside, healers like Taka Ouellette visit the infected areas, relieving what afflictions they can. Behind the scenes, sadistic, megalomaniac Achilles Desjardins-his conscience was erased by a rogue computer program-orchestrates affairs electronically and biologically to suit his personal depravities. Rifters Lenie Clarke and Ken Lubin, newly arrived from the undersea realm of Atlantis, wander the devastated landscape, trying to make sense of what they see, wondering whether Seppuku, a counter-plague, will actually destroy ssehemoth or make matters even worse. The commendable aspects of this: Watts's thorough research renders the details vivid and telling, and he shows significant signs of developing into a true stylist. The drawbacks: a plot that (even granted that this is only half a book) undulates without a backbone; worse, the basis for what plot there is comes down to sexual torture, whose scenes, presented unsparingly, many readers will find utterly repellent. For the nonce, heed the author's warning. For the future, Watts has to decide whether to write SF or horrific porn: the mix doesn't work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765311726
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Series: Rifters Series , #4
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Watts calls himself "a reformed marine biologist." Canada's Globe and Mail calls him "one of the very best hard-SF writers alive." The two volumes of ßehemoth complete the trilogy he began with Starfish and Maelstrom. He is currently writing an unrelated literary novel involving space vampires for Tor. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent cutting edge science fiction.

    Five years ago amphibious cyborg Lenie Clarke unleashed the microbe Behemoth on an unsuspecting world, killing ten million in North America. Lenni and her fellow cyborgs escape the devastation in the ocean depths and are at war with the VIP¿s who fled to the underwater city of Atlantis. The people of Atlantis and cyborgs make peace when Behemoth finds its way into the underwater city. For the first time in five years Lenie journeys to land accompanied by Ken Lubin to find a way to keep Behemoth out of Atlantis...................... Although a vaccine for Behemoth exists, it is in scarce supply so more people die from the microbe and the plagues that follow in its wake. Watchers guard against anyone breaking out of quarantine and many countries want to eradicate North America and thus destroy Behemoth. A new deadly microbe Seppuku is launched as a cure for Behemoth but when it kills the microbe it also infects the host. A watcher, Achilles Desjarding know that Seppuku will eventually die out before killing the host but he doesn¿t tell anyone because he wants to keep all the power he gained. Lenie and Ken can stop him but it might mean their deaths........................... BEHEMOTH: SEPPUKU is the last of the Lenni Clark books and it is just as action-packed and exciting as STARFISH: MAELSTROM and BEHEMOTH: B-MAX. This is a dark gritty speculative fiction novel with the survivors grimly determined to rebuild civilization if Behemoth is eradicated. Lenie knows she can never find redemption but she does her best to save what is left of the North American population. Desjarding is the archetype villain who everyone will love to hate. Peter Watts is writing excellent cutting edge science fiction............................... Harriet Klausner

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