Title: The Eater
Genre: Political/Hard SF
Published: Orbit 2001
Purchased: Borders, Cambridge, 2004-01-24, £6.99
This is near future - not quite tomorrow, but not much further ahead. The hero is an astrophysicist, his wife an ex-astronaut dying from cancer. And then something arrives in the solar system. It's apparently an intelligent black hole. The novel deals with the repercussions of this most alien of all alien first contacts.
I didn't really like this one, and the reason is that it deals with American Academic internal politics too much. I'm sure Benford, himself a scientist, is writing from his own knowledge here, but for me it was tedious. I'll probably stack it with the Ben Bova novels which also bore me stiff with their political manoeuverings. Oh, and I'm fairly sure the human race wouldn't have survived the events.