Humanity received a technological upgrade from long-dead aliens. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Humanity had somehow muddled through the horrors of the 20th century and – surprisingly – managed to survive the first half of the 21st, despite numerous nuclear accidents, flings with neo-fascism and the sudden arrival of catastrophic climate change. It was agreed that spreading our chances across two planets offered better odds than staying rooted to little old Earth. Terraforming Mars was the future!
A subsequent research expedition led to humanity’s biggest discovery: an alien spaceship, camouflaged to appear like an ordinary asteroid. Although the aliens had long since gone, probably millions of years ago, their technology was still very much alive, offering access to unlimited power.
Over the next hundred years humanity blossomed, reaching out to the solar system. By 2238, Mars had been successfully terraformed, countless smaller colonies had sprung up in its wake, built on our solar system’s many moons, on major asteroids and in newly built habitats and installations.
Jemm Delaney is a Xeno-Archaeologist and her 16-year old son Clint a talented hacker. Together they make a great team. When she accepts a job to retrieve an alien artifact from a derelict space station, it looks like they will become rich. But with Corps, aliens, AIs and junkies involved, nothing is ever going to proceed smoothly.
If you’re a fan of Julian May, Frank Herbert or James S.A. Corey, you will love Birds of Paradise.