The next incredible book in The Comet Cycle series
From award-winning author Benjamin Percy comes the second novel in his grippingly original sci-fi series, The Comet Cycle, in which a passing comet has caused irreversible change to the growth of fungi, spawning a dangerous, invasive species in the Pacific Northwest that threatens to control the lives of humans and animals alike.
It began with a comet. They called it Cain, a wandering star that passed by Earth, illuminating the night with a swampy green light and twinning the sky by day with two suns. A year later, Earth spun through the debris field the comet left behind. Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of meteors plummeted into the atmosphere, destroying swaths of electrical grids, leaving shores of beaches filled with deceased sea life, and setting acres of land ablaze. It was then, they say, that the sky fell. It was then that Jack lost Mia.
Five years after the disappearance of his daughter, Jack has fallen. Once an accomplished professor of botany, he's now a shell of a man who has all but withdrawn from life. Nora, his ex-wife, has thrown herself into her investigative work. Separately, they have each bandaged over the hole Mia left behind.
Just as Jack is uncovering a new form of deadly parasitic fungus in his lab, Nora is assigned to investigate the cases of ritualistic murders dotting Seattle. The rituals consist of etchings - crosshatches are carved into bodies and eyes are scooped out of their sockets. The attackers appear to be possessed.
It only takes a moment - for a sickness to infect, for a person to be killed, for a child to be lost. When Nora enlists Jack to identify the cause of this string of vicious deaths, Jack is quick to help. Together, they fight to keep their moments - the unexpected laughter, the extraordinary discoveries, the chance that Mia could come back home - but they find that what they're up against defies all logic, and what they have to do to save the world will change every life forever.
A propulsive thriller that drops plenty of hints about a bigger picture to be discovered. Fast-paced and gripping, this will make you eager for the next in the Comet Cycle - Sci-Fi Bulletin
Praise for THE NINTH METAL - :
Take one part dystopia, one part sci-fi, two parts apocalypse, then ride them roughshod through a bleak and bloody western, and it still wouldn't get close to what Ben Percy does here, which is blow open the core of humanity's dark heart - Marlon James, Booker Prize winning author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Debris from a comet drops a fabulously valuable new metal . . . turning it into a bloody, brawling boomtown. Great characters, fine writing, totally engrossing - Stephen King
Benjamin Percy is the award-winning author of the novel, The Wilding (forthcoming from Graywolf, September 28, 2010), as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Carnegie Mellon, 2006). Publishers Weekly gave The Wilding a starred review, saying "Percy's excellent debut novel...digs into the ambiguous American attitude toward nature as it oscillates between Thoreau's romantic appreciation and sheer gothic horror... It's as close as you can get to a contemporary Deliverance."
Percy's honors include a Whiting Writers Award, the Plimpton Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories. His fiction and nonfiction appear in Esquire (where he is a regular contributor), Outside, Men's Journal, the Paris Review, Orion, Tin House, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and many other magazines and journals. He teaches in the MFA program at Iowa State and can be found online at benjaminpercy.com.