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by Wil McCarthy
ISBN 0345485378 / 9780345485373 / 0-345-48537-8
Publisher Del Rey
› Find signed collectible books: 'Bloom'
One day, late in the 2090s, a new form of life--a galloping fungal growth--blooms in New Guinea and, within days, devours Earth and most of its inhabitants. Within years, it has permeated the inner solar system and gobbled four planets--the few survivors of the Evacuation sit in bases in the asteroids and the moons of Jupiter waiting for the Bloom to mutate again, to cope with the cold of the outer system, or for the enthusiasts who worship it to let it loose among them. And reporter John Strasheim is asked to go with an expedition back to Earth, supposedly to plant monitors, and to test new defences. Much of the power and suspense of this high-grade SF thriller comes from claustrophobia--a crew of six in a cramped space and one of them at least a traitor. Strasheim is an engaging narrator, a cynic with a heart of gold, who cares more passionately than he thinks for the future of humanity. Two colonies--uptight Ganymede and relaxed cyber-hedonist Port Helier--are nicely contrasted. And, because this is the sort of book it excellently is, we know that, in all sorts of ways, things are not what they seem. --Roz Kaveney [via]