Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Cold Eyes (First Contact) Kindle Edition
Cold Eyes is an original First Contact novel, written as a tribute to the 1974 science fiction classic, The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
The UN warship Magellan is twelve light-years from Earth, exploring a cold eye, a tidally-locked super-earth called Bee. At least two advanced, intelligent species evolved on the planet, but the crew's attempts at radio communication result in garbled replies. No one is waiting for them in orbit. The crew has to figure out why. Any misunderstandings could lead to war.
Warning: The most absurd part of this story is true and accurately portrayed.
The FIRST CONTACT series is similar to BLACK MIRROR or THE TWILIGHT ZONE in that this collection is based on a common theme rather than common characters. This allows these books to be read in any order. Technically, they're all first as they all deal with how we might initially respond to contact with aliens, exploring the social, political, religious, and scientific aspects of First Contact. Some of the other highly acclaimed novels in this series include Jury Duty, Anomaly, 3zekiel, Losing Mars, Xenophobia, Wherever Seeds May Fall, and Welcome to the Occupied States of America.
- ASIN : B09F5RGX27
- Publication date : October 27, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 912 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 395 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,296 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Without giving away any spoilers, I'd say Cold Eyes does a splendid job of exploring a half-dozen or more hard sci-fi technologies and scenarios, including some brilliant surprises.
Indeed, Cold Eyes offers a crisp, clean treatment of a core theme which compares favorably in certain respects to the Niven / Pournelle classic "The Mote in God's Eye".
If you've enjoyed any of the author's First Contact series, this latest addition is highly recommended -- easily up there with the very best of the series like "Wherever Seeds May Fall".
Also wish to highlight the vivid, immersive imagery associated with the detailed depiction of first spacewalk -- for the full effect, try listening to this in Kindle text-to-speech mode, while stargazing on a quiet, cool dark night with the lights off.
And the Cold Eyes Afterword was a great connector between the story and the science -- much appreciated.
A SUPER-EARTH WITHIN THE HABITABLE ZONE
The Magellan is en route to a Super-Earth, one of the most Earth-like planets ever discovered. It’s nearly three times as massive as Earth and tidally locked—a “cold eye”—with an enormous ocean on one side forever facing its star and a glacier covering the other in perpetual darkness. It’s a real exoplanet, and these are facts known to science today. The crew has christened the planet “Bee.”
Their mission is to establish First Contact with the inhabitants. They’re responding to a clear signal of intelligence replying to a message radioed to them in 2017. Unfortunately, Dali is the crew’s First Contact specialist. And his memory implant didn’t take properly, so he remembers none of the professional education his progenitor had received as a linguist or anything of his months of training. He’s forced to prove himself to his crew-mates—and to himself. Which, it turns out, is not easy.
TRAPPED ON THE PLANET BY HEAVY GRAVITY
Dali and his 18-year-old crew-mates—Dr. Kari Ndiaye and Dr. Helios Christensen (another couple) as well as Sandy—exchange messages with the “Beebs” (as they call the inhabitants of Bee) on close approach to the planet. Two outstanding facts soon become clear. First, whoever they are, they’re extremely intelligent. They pick up almost instantly on Dali’s messages sent to establish a basis of communication. And, second, they are trapped on the surface, unable ever to visit the stars. The heavy gravity and dense atmosphere of Bee will not permit any conceivable rocket to obtain escape velocity.
Of course, the same factors make it impossible for the crew of the Magellan to land, because they would never be able to leave. Which means that Dali once again thinks he’s died when the delta-wing spacecraft he’s riding on a reconnaissance mission explodes high in the atmosphere. But he doesn’t die. Instead, he lands on Bee, where he quickly becomes caught up in a civil war between Bee’s two intelligent species. The people of this Super-Earth are in no way like humans physiologically, but they demonstrate very understandable behavior.
THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR THIS STORY
Cawdron’s tale is set on the planet we now know as Gliese 273b (or, more commonly, Luyten b). Here’s what Wikipedia tells us about it: Luyten b “is a confirmed exoplanet, likely rocky, orbiting within the habitable zone of the nearby red dwarf Luyten’s Star. The planet orbits its star at a distance less than one-tenth as far as Earth is from the sun. It is one of the most Earth-like planets ever found and is the fifth-closest potentially habitable exoplanet known. Luyten b has around 2.89 times the mass of Earth—which makes it a Super-Earth—and receives only 6% more starlight, thus constituting one of the best candidates for habitability.
In October 2017 and 2018, the nonprofit organization METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) sent a message containing dozens of short musical compositions and a scientific “tutorial” towards the planet in hopes of contacting any potential extraterrestrial civilizations.” The conceit at the basis of Cawdron’s tale is that a response to this message from the planet has triggered Dali’s interstellar mission.
THE THINKING BEHIND THE NOVEL
In a lengthy Afterword, Cawdron shares the thinking behind the novel and cites the scientific sources of his reasoning. All his books feature such discussions, which I regard as a generous gift to us readers. His knowledge of the science underlying the story is impressive. If you’re tempted to skip the Afterword, thinking it’s the usual sort of recitation of people who helped the author, don’t. It’s well worth reading.
Cawdron may cause you to think about things that have never occurred to you before. For example:
** What’s normal? “On a cosmic scale, ‘normal’ is -455F and roughly one minuscule atom for every cubic inch. There’s nothing normal about life. Life is decidedly abnormal.”
** What is intelligence? “Intelligence is an arm wrestle against the base nature of fight-or-flight. It’s the only reasonable alternative to instinct. Intelligence thrives on hope.”
** Why is the speed of light a limit? “When you consider the impact of speed on time, it becomes obvious why there’s a cosmic speed limit. It’s not speed itself that’s limited. The problem is time. Time can only slow until the point it stops—and the point at which time comes to a halt is the speed at which light travels! To go faster, you’d need to go backward in time. Although that might appeal to our science-fiction-addled minds, it’s nonsense.”
The author made me feel the realities of planetary physics on a planet with heavy G’s, and all the implications of that for the development of the various life forms on it.
Makes me want to be an astronaut and explore space!
Top reviews from other countries
This is quite possibly my preferred book in the series so far although each time I feel his stories cannot be bettered, Peter Cawdron proves me wrong. Highly recommended to all who enjoy science fiction and look for a better way of being in the future.
This is another in his series of first contact stories. Some interesting character development and a strong plot. Well worth reading if you like Sci-Fi.
Another Excellent book Peter Cawdron and a tribute to your late Mother.