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There is life on Mars. But could it end life on Earth? It's 2025 and the Earth is damaged. Irreparably. The quest for scientific solutions is hampered by commercial greed, political infighting and a mass fear that whatever we do, we can only make things worse. Then a miracle. Scientists at the Chinese Martian base have discovered the 'Chi' -- an active micro-organism several kilometres below the surface. Very active. Left undisturbed for 2 billion years, it has super evolved and is able to swap DNA at will, maximising its survival whatever the environment. Against all protocol the 'Chi' is brought secretly back to Earth. Where it is stolen, and accidentally plunged into the pacific Ocean. Only a few weeks later, a giant slick of plankton is found growing at an exponential rate. It is sucking the seas dry of life. And the question must be asked. Who is colonizing whom? The wonder of Arthur C. Clarke. The claustrophobic tension of Alien. The science of Richard Dawkins. All taken to the extreme!
Paul McAuley worked as a research scientist and lecturer in Britain and the United States for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer. His novels have won the Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell awards. He lives in North London.
Shortlisted for Arthur C. Clarke Award 2002 and Arthur C Clarke Award 2002.