Peter Watts is a Canadian science fiction author and marine-mammal
biologist. His first novel Starfish (2000) introduced Lenie Clarke, a deepocean
power-station worker physically altered for underwater living and
the main character in the sequels: Maelstrom (2001), Behemoth: ß-Max
(2004) and Behemoth: Seppuku (2005). The last two volumes comprise
one novel, published split into for commercial considerations. Starfish,
Maelstrom and Behemoth comprise a trilogy usually referred to as
"Rifters" after the modified humans designed to work in deep-ocean environments....
This is the way it was meant to be. Well, not all pixellated and virtual or
(at best) home-printed, but integrated, dammit, a single novel in a single
package, and fuck the beancounters and their Solomonesque book-splitting
travesties. We aren't in the old-school economy any more, Toto—
we're giving this stuff away now, and you can judge it for better or worse
as a single standalone entity. You may agree with Publisher's Weekly and
call this the capstone to one of the major works of hard-sf in the new century.
Maybe things are getting out of hand, Lenie Clarke wonders.
The others don't seem to care. She hears Lubin and Caraco talking up
in the lounge, hears Brander trying to sing in the shower— as if we didn't
all get enough abuse during our childhoods— and envies their unconcern.
Everyone hated Scanlon— well, not hate, exactly, that's a bit strong— but
there was at least a sort of—
That's the word. Contempt. Back on the surface, Scanlon ticked everyone.
The day after Patricia Rowan saved the world, a man named Elias
Murphy brought a piece of her conscience home to roost.
She hardly needed another one. Her tactical contacts already served
up an endless stream of death and damage, numbers far too vague to
qualify as estimates. It had only been sixteen hours; even orders of magnitude
were barely more than guesses. But the machines kept trying to
pin it down, this many million lives, that many trillion dollars, as if
quantifying the apocalypse would somehow render it harmless.
Maybe it would at that, she reflected.