|Submitted by David Scott |
(Aug 01, 2003)
For the last ten years, Earth has been receiving regular messages from space, the first confirmed communication from alien beings... until today. The unexplained end to the alien signals could not have come at a worse time for Heather Davis, as a sudden family crisis has erupted with an accusation of abuse against her ex-husband by their daughter. Even while trying to piece together the decade-long message and decipher its meaning, Heather must confront accusations that seem to have no proof yet cannot be ignored. Soon enough, the two plots merge in an unexpected way, leading to further questions. What happened to lead a young girl to suicide? What led an old friend to Heather's to do the same? And why did the alien communications suddenly cease?
Set in and around the campus of the University of Toronto, Robert Sawyer's "Factoring Humanity" is a wonderful blend of a first contact story and a small, single-family tragedy, along with its attempts to heal.
The characters are wonderfully detailed, showing all of the talents, foibles and flaws of each person.
For me, this was the first time I had read a Robert Sawyer book; after finishing it, I could not get enough of his work. I would highly recommend
"Factoring Humanity" to anyone.