cover image Déjà Doomed

Déjà Doomed

Edward M. Lerner. CAEZIK, $14.99 trade paper (438p) ISBN 978-1-64710-027-8

This solid sci-fi outing from Lerner (The Company Man) begins when Marcus Judson, the leader of the American team building an observatory on the far side of the moon, is assigned an unbelievable mission by an old CIA contact. Marcus is to divert his team to investigate the lunar site where alien remains were found. A Russian mining team also gets wind of the extraterrestrial artifacts, and though both sides work to maintain secrecy—almost to the point of hostility—mysterious deaths eventually force them to work together. What they find promises amazing new technology, but not all that they discover is benign as they butt up against an extraterrestrial intelligence that will protect itself at any cost—including planet-scale genocide. Despite an excruciatingly slow start, the archaeological mystery and first contact narrative, once underway, offer impressive character work and invigorating twists on the way to an action-packed, if familiar, finale. Hard SF fans who stick with this will find a buried lunar treasure. [em](May) [/em]