Anticopernicus - Adam Roberts
A brief novel by the author of Yellow Blue Tibia and New Model Army. 4-chapters in total; only available for e-purchase.
First contact: despite our cosmic littleness, the aliens have come to visit. But they have parked their interstellar craft on the outskirts of the solar system, and despite friendly interaction (their English is fluent and idiomatic) they will come no closer. So an Earth ship, the "Leibniz", crewed by the best and the brightest, begins the slow haul towards the Oort cloud, in the hopes that meeting these alien creatures will answer the most profound questions humanity can ask. “Anticopernicus” is not their story, though. It is the story of Ange Mlinko, an ordinary individual working the Earth-Mars trade routes, largely uninterested in the arrival of alien intelligences. And because the focus is on her, it remains to be seen whether this short novel can answer the following questions: why have the aliens come? Why won't they come any closer than the furthest edges of the solar system? What does this have to do with the nature of the mysterious ‘dark energy’ pervading the cosmos? What about the celebrated Fermi Paradox? And most pressingly: could Copernicus have been wrong all along?