Here we have an incredibly obscure sci-fi book! Only about 200+ Goodreads reviews. Averaging a 3.6/5 stars. Sarah Zettel is the critically acclaimed author of more than twenty novels, spanning the full range of genre fiction. Her debut novel, Reclamation, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her novel Bitter Angels won the Philip K. Dick Award for best science fiction paperback in 2009.
Publisher Blurb: “A stunning discovery by a team of scientists on Venus endangers Earth itself
At eighty-three, Dr. Helen Failia is nearing middle age but has lost none of her fighting spirit. The founder of Earth's first fully functioning colony on Venus, she will do anything to ensure that the home she's built and nurtured not only survives, but thrives. Despite her constant work, funding for the colony is running out, and she's dreading telling the ten thousand colonists they must move to Earth, a world some of them have never even seen. When one of her probes returns with the unprecedented proof of an ancient alien artifact on the surface of Venus she cannot believe her luck. This is the first evidence that humanity is not alone, and the discovery will surely secure the research colony's future.
As Helen and her team investigate the strange new find, they learn that humanity is not the only species with its eye on the planet. A dying race of spacefaring aliens needs a new home, and Venus is perfect for the people and their massive, living cities. But these newcomers consider the human presence on Venus a very small problem, one that can be swept aside if it dares get in the way.”
Great Review: Mark Monday on Goodreads said in a portion of his review back in 2017: “Good book! This is one of those science fiction novels that is all about the characterization. There is science and politics and a wonderfully detailed alien civilization and the deaths of majestic beings and the potential birth of a lifeless planet... but first and foremost, the novel is (quietly) character-driven. Zettel operates with an even hand. Although there are two murderous villains - one human, one alien - even that villainy is delivered in understandable although perhaps not relatable shades of gray. Humans are portrayed as being driven by higher goals to explore and analyze and improve, to create a new society... but are often dragged down for petty, short-sighted reasons. the aliens who call themselves "The People" are a fascinating and vibrant avian culture that sees the aiding of life as intrinsic to the nature of all living things (and to think otherwise is to be considered insane)... and yet this beautiful society is one that includes indenture to the point of slavery.”
Fun Fact: If you’re a book collector and love audiobooks, this obscure book has a 2013 audiobook version too!
Tags: Venus, science fiction, politics, female SF writer, signed, aliens, ancient alien artifact