Anomaly by Peter Cawdron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A very solid first-contact novel that deservedly belongs on the shelf next to Contact, but I will be the first to admit it does some things better than Sagan and other things much weaker. HOWEVER, none of that changes the fundamentally good exploration of what it means to us to present ourselves before a far-advanced entity only to reflect all crap of what we are upon it.
It's not the same book as Sagan's. It's actually rather streamlined and distilled, having us focus more on lateral thinking, new physics, and communication as only a grade school teacher could swing it.
So, yeah! Having a grade school teacher teach experts how to get it right was pretty awesome. :) Things clarify and the basic story was not only intelligent, it was focused. No big heroics to save the day, but there is heroism. No resorting to violence, but there is violence. No ultrareliance on either science OR religion to break through to the heart of the story, but there is plenty of both in here.
IF what you might be looking for is a clear and focused SF tale to say something very solid about ourselves, then I wouldn't look any farther than this. It could very well be a bestseller turned into an intelligent SF movie and I would love its special effects and its message.
But I wouldn't call it super original.
A comfort read? A joy? Yes, absolutely, but not super original.
Fortunately, few of us necessarily need originality to enjoy a story. :)
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