Probability Moon [NOOK Book]


Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It's all-out war, and humanity is losing.

In this fragile situation, a new planet is discovered, inhabited by a pre-industrial race who experience "shared ...
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Probability Moon

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Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It's all-out war, and humanity is losing.

In this fragile situation, a new planet is discovered, inhabited by a pre-industrial race who experience "shared reality"-they're literally compelled to share the same worldview. A team of human scientists is dispatched-but what they don't know is that their mission of first contact is actually a covert military operation.

For one of the planet's moons is really a huge mysterious artifact of the same origin as the star gates . . . and it just may be the key to winning the war.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Best known for novels that carefully extrapolate near-future medical and social trends, Kress (Stinger) here tells a tale of interplanetary adventure centered in anthropology and physics. Humanity has begun to explore the stars using "space tunnels" created by an unknown alien race. Life turns out to be common on other planets, but surprisingly, most of it is related to us, the products of an experiment carried out by the race that built the tunnels. Only one truly alien species, the Fallers, has been discovered, and they are implacably hostile to humanity. As the novel opens, Earth has sent a starship to a planet whose inhabitants call it World. The expedition's ostensible purpose is anthropological, to study the natives' unique psychic "shared reality," a complex net of mutual understandings that makes lying and large-scale violence virtually impossible. In actuality, however, the expedition has a darker purpose. Earth's military forces have discovered that one of World's moons is an artifact apparently left by the creators of the tunnels, and they think it may be a powerful weapon to use against the Fallers. As the military probe the artifact, the anthropologists on the planet begin to realize the trouble they'll be in if they can't convince the usually peaceful natives that both groups share the same reality. Kress does a good job of working out the ramifications of her shared-reality society, but her human characters lack the depth of those in her best work, the Beggars trilogy; her military figures in particular are thinly drawn. And the physics, although interesting, is introduced in large, sometimes indigestible chunks that slow the plot to a crawl. This is solid SF, but Kress has written better. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
To avoid violating the global phenomenon of "shared reality" experienced by the people of the planet World, a scientific research team must tread a delicate path between truth and lies. When the knowledge of a secret military mission involving one of the World's seven moons becomes public information, the scientists find themselves trapped on a planet suddenly turned hostile. The author of Maximum Light blends a taut story of survival and culture shock with a thoughtful exploration of the nature of human consciousness in a novel that belongs in most sf collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
The Denver Post
An important and unique writer.
Kirkus Reviews
A far-future alien-contact yarn from the versatile author of Stinger (1998), etc. When humans expanded into space, they found a network of stargates left by vanished aliens—and also ran into the Fallers, xenophobic aliens who immediately declared war and continue to resist all attempts at communication. Starship Zeus deposits an alien-contact team on planet World, whose human-alien inhabitants have a "shared reality" (if you're out of synch, you get violent headaches). All this is cover for Zeus's real mission: to investigate the weapons possibilities of the huge alien artifact orbiting the planet (Worlders think it's a moon). Military physicist Syree Johnson finds that the artifact projects a field that causes heavy elements to become temporarily radioactive. Then, when the Fallers show up, Johnson decides to attempt to tow the artifact back through the stargate—but it's almost certainly too big. Down on the planet, the investigators—geologist Dieter Gruber, xenobiologist Ann Sikorski, fanatic anthropologist David Campbell Allen, and their leader Ahmed Bazargan—strive to understand the Worlders' "shared reality": if the Worlders decide they're unreal, they'll be utterly ignored. Worlder criminals, they learn, become "unreal" until their debt is paid; indeed, the criminal Enli has been set to spy on them. But what's the source of the reality/unreality phenomenon? Is there a link with an artifact they've detected buried on the planet, or with the thing in orbit, which seems to generate probability waves? Twisty and compelling, brimful of ideas, with Kress's usual life-sized characters:top-notch workfrom a major talent—and we haven't heard the last of the Fallers.
From the Publisher
"The author of Maximum Light blends a taut story of survival and culture shock with a thoughtful exploration of the nature of humanity."—Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466824423
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 9/16/2002
  • Series: Probability Trilogy , #1
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 266,677
  • File size: 312 KB

Meet the Author

Nancy Kress was born and raised in upstate New York, where she spent most of her childhood either reading or playing in the woods. She earned a bachelor's and master's degree in education, as well as an M.A. in English. While she was pregnant with the second of her two sons, she started writing fiction. She had never planned on becoming a writer, but staying at home full-time with infants left her time to experiment.

In 1990 she went full-time as an SF writer. The first thing she wrote in this new status was the novella version of Beggars In Spain, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Award. She is the author of more than twenty books, including more than a dozen novels of science fiction and fantasy, as well as three story collections, and two books on writing. Of her most recent novels, Probability Space (Tor, 2002) won the John W. Campbell Award for Best SF novel. Her short fiction has appeared in all the usual places, garnering her one Hugo and three Nebula Awards. Her work has been translated into Swedish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Croatian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Greek, Hebrew, and Russian. She is also the monthly "Fiction" columnist for Writer's Digest Magazine and she teaches writing regularly at various places, including Clarion and The Writing Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She currently resides in Rochester, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUELOWELL CITY, MARSThe aide materialized beside General Stefanak at a most inconvenient moment. The girl with him was too schooled to react; she'd been with her company for two years now, and it was the most popular and discreet first-class company on Titan. The girl took no notice of the intrusion, but the general lost his erection."I'm so sorry, sir," the holo said, averting Malone's eyes, "but there is a level-one message:""You are not to blame," the general said ritualistically. "One moment."The girl was already pulling on her dress, eyes properly downcast. She would, of course, be paid anyway. Stefanak put on a robe and bowed to her; she returned the gesture and left through the side door. Her long black hair flowed down her back, the ends glowing with tiny holographic beads. There had been nothing holographic about the rest of her. This level-one had better be important.He walked into his outer office and waited for Malone, who probably had to travel across the base from Communications. Level-one messages were physically encoded and hand carried. This one must have just come through a few momentsago. While he waited, Stefanak poured himself a drink, thinking about the girl.Maybe he needed his hormone levels adjusted again. He wasn't eighty anymore.Malone appeared with the communication cube, bowed, and left. Stefanak activated the security shield. While it was on, nothing could enter or leave his quarters. No electromagnetic radiation, no compression waves, no air, not even neutrinos. Then he switched on the cube, using level-one protocols.It was from a recon team to a remote and unimportant planet, funded and mounted by soft-science professors at Princeton University, for the usual squishy "research." But every recon team had a line-rank military representative on it. Usually junior officers fought not to go on recon. Usually it was an E-year of irrelevant boredom on primitive planets, most of them uninhabited.Not this time.Stefanak viewed the cube once, and then again. He sat thinking for a full five minutes, very carefully. The Zeus was available, or could be made available, without attracting significant attention. A command-level line officer could not be made available, but there were ways around that. Physicists ... leave that to Malone. But maybe the whole mission could be made to look like just another low-priority scholarly expedition. Yes. Salernos would be the one to arrange that, she had plausible contacts ...When Stefanak finished his planning, he released the security shield. Malone waited outside. The general told him to put together an immediate meeting with the Solar Alliance Defense Council, highest-ranking officers only, all participating governments urged most strongly to attend.This might change everything.Copyright © 2000 by Nancy Kress
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2003

    kept me up all night

    I stayed up all night reading this book--it was too good to put down. Filled with suspense, mystery and science, Probability Moon captured my attention and didn't let go. However, the book contains many extended passages concerning the intricate workings of molecular science, which (while I, and anyone who loves biology will, found to be intriguing and stimulating) could be a little hard to follow. Nancy Kress did an excellent job in creating a believable future while, at the same time, describing a situation and culture fantastical enough to delight my scifi orientated mind. I highly recommend this book and hope you enjoy. I did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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