Peter Holman is a freelance sweeper. The year 2030 sees a new era in social media. Sweepcasting, a multisensory interface that can convey every thought, touch, smell, sight, and sound, can immerse the audience in another person’s experience.
By fate, chance, or some darker design, Peter is perfectly positioned to be the one human to document the arrival of the aliens, the S’hudonni.
The S’hudonni offer advanced science in exchange for various trade goods from Earth, but nothing is as simple as it seems. Peter finds himself falling for Heather Newsome, a scientist chosen by the S’hudonni to act as their liaison. Engaged to his brilliant marine biologist brother, Tom, Heather is not what she appears to be, but Peter has bigger problems. While he and his brother fight over longstanding family troubles, another issue looms: a secret war among the aliens, who are neither as benevolent nor as unified as they first seemed.
Peter slowly learns secrets he was never meant to know, about both the S’hudonni and his own family. Realizing that he has been used, he can only try to turn his situation around, to save what he can of his life and of the future of Earth.
Shortlisted for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2016.