A Darkling Sea

James L. Cambias

Tor Books

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On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.

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Book Excerpts

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ONE
 
 
BY the end of his second month at Hitode Station, Rob Freeman had already come up with 85 ways to murder Henri Kerlerec. That put him third in the station’s rankings—Josef Palashnik was first with 143, followed by Nadia Kyle with 97. In general, the number and sheer viciousness of the suggested methods was in proportion to the amount of time each one spent with Henri.
Josef, as the primary submarine pilot, had to spend hours and hours each week in close quarters with Henri, so his list concentrated on swift and brutal techniques suitable for a small cockpit.

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Reviews

Praise for A Darkling Sea

"An impressive debut by a gifted writer."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut."
Kirkus, Starred Review

"Like Silverberg, who developed fully realized alien societies in such novels as Downward to the Earth (to which this novel bears some thematic resemblance), Cambias makes the Sholen and Ilmataran people and cultures as real as the more familiar human component. Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should."
Booklist, Starred Review

“A stunning debut! Alien races to rival Larry Niven, world-building to rival Hal Clement, and lots of rip-roaring adventure. James Cambias will be one of the century's major names in hard science fiction.”
—Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

“Fast-paced, pure quill hard science fiction.... Cambias delivers adroit plot pivots that keep the suspense coming.”
—Gregory Benford, Nebula Award-winning author of Timescape

“This is great fun—traditional science fiction but with today's science. And I love the aliens.”
—Jo Walton, Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of Among Others

“The best story about an alien race and its environment that I've read in a long time. Cambias is in the same league as Hal Clement.”
—Vernor Vinge, Hugo Award-winning author of A Fire Upon the Deep

“Cambias's exploration of truly alien politics is fast, fun, and packed with characters you'll cheer for. It's exciting to welcome an exuberant new voice to the ranks of hard science fiction!”

—Karl Schroeder, author of Ventus


“A compelling read.”

—Michael Flynn, author of On the Razor’s Edge

“A fascinating exploration of alien lives at the extreme edges of an alien world.”
—Brenda Cooper, award-winning author of The Silver Ship and the Sea

 

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About the Author

James L. Cambias

James Cambias has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, and the 2001 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He lives in Western Massachusetts.

James Cambias

James Cambias

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Available Formats and Book Details

A Darkling Sea
James L. Cambias

Hardcover

Hardcover
Tom Doherty Associates
Tor Books
January 2014
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780765336279
ISBN10: 0765336278
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$25.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Tom Doherty Associates
Tor Books
January 2014
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466827561
ISBN10: 1466827564
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$12.99
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