The Rifters

by Peter Watts

5 avg rating
Book 5 of 27 in the Undersea Science Fiction Books
7 votes 0 comments

This is the way the world ends:

 

A nuclear strike on a deep sea vent.  The target was an ancient microbe—voracious enough to drive the whole biosphere to extinction—and a handful of amphibious humans called rifters who’d inadvertently released it from three billion years of solitary confinement.

 

The resulting tsunami killed millions.  It’s not as through there was a choice: saving the world excuses almost any degree of collateral damage.

 

Unless, of course, you miss the target.

 

Now North America’s west coast lies in ruins.  Millions of refugees rally around a mythical figure mysteriously risen from the deep sea.  A world already wobbling towards collapse barely notices the spread of one more blight along its shores.  And buried in the seething fast-forward jungle that use to be called Internet, something vast and inhuman reaches out to a woman with empty white eyes and machinery in her chest.  A woman driven by rage, and incubating Armageddon.

 

Her name is Lenie Clarke.  She’s a rifter.  She’s not nearly as dead as everyone thinks.

 

And the whole damn world is collateral damage as far as she’s concerned. . . .

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