(Cover art copyright 1995 by Chris Moore)
(Roc/Penguin, April 1995, ISBN 0-451-45406-5; ReAnimus Press, 2012)
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Forty light years from earth, the colonists on the world of Unua have somehow managed to keep civilization struggling on, despite twice daily earthquakes and technology lagging far behind that of the mother planet. But now an Unuan mining expedition has discovered an alien mineral they name centrokrist — a stone of incomparable beauty. Yet when the Earth scientists at last arrive to investigate, they find a phenomenon eclipsing this discovery. For this double-sunned solar system is nestled right next to a black hole, and waiting for them on the verge of the black hole’s event horizon is an alien artifact that can’t possibly exist!
“Wil McCarthy demonstrates that he has a sharp intelligence, a galaxy-spanning imagination, and the solid scientific background to make it all work.” — Connie Willis
“Easily the best book about the implications of relativity since Robert Forward’s classic THE DRAGON’S EGG. FLIES FROM THE AMBER has a sense of wonder, fascinating realistic science, a wonderfully inventive background, charming characters you can root for, and a fast paced plot that keeps you reading. How many good books will be published this year? The Hugo and Nebula committees estimate there will be five. So while waiting for those other four, read FLIES FROM THE AMBER now.” — Eric Baker, Science Fiction Age