OUR CONTINUED EXISTENCE WAS NEVER A GIVEN. Year after year, humanity has survived the main pitfalls awaiting us - natural disasters, nuclear war, rising seas. But when an alien artefact is found floating in Earth's orbit, it pushes our troubled world to the brink of chaos. Is this a message in a bottle bringing peace and enlightenment from the stars? Or a warning, threatening to destroy what little stability mankind has achieved? The world is divided - holding its breath. Soon we will know the secret of existence. Brilliant and gripping, David Brin's novel of the near future is the work of a modern master of science fiction.