cover image The Goliath Stone

The Goliath Stone

Larry Niven and Matthew Joseph Harrington. Tor, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3323-0

Worried about destructive meteors, nanotechnologist Toby Glyer launches the satellite Briareus to act as an early-warning system. But the on-board nanites start evolving and Briareus disappears, reappearing 25 years later—on a collision course with Earth. This may sound dire, but Niven (the Ringworld series) and Harrington (Soul Survivor) turn it into a rollicking good time. To deal with the looming threat, Glyer recruits May Wyndham, whose company was responsible for the initial launch, and William Connors, a genius who has surreptitiously been improving humanity by introducing nanites into the population. As nanites make the protagonists younger, healthier, and sexier, they engage in fast, funny, and gloriously self-referential repartee, with repeated homage paid to classic science-fiction writers and their work. The hard science can be dense, but it never gets in way of the breezy mood that gives this delightful romp its wings. (June)