Second in the Rifters Trilogy, Hugo Award-winning author Peter Watts' Maelstrom is a terrifying explosion of cyberpunk noir.
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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