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By Neal Stephenson

Der Mond explodierte ohne Vorwarnung und ohne erkennbaren Grund. Die Uhrzeit würde guy später als A+0.0.0 oder schlicht Null bezeichnen …

05:03:12 Weltzeit. Die Stunde Null. Nach der Explosion des Mondes wütet über Jahrtausende ein Meteoritensturm, der die Erdoberfläche in eine unbewohnbare Wüstenei verwandelt. Um die Menschheit vor der Auslöschung zu bewahren, schickten die Nationen der Erde eine Flotte von Archen ins All. Der Asteroid Amalthea, der ursprünglich zu Forschungszwecken an eine internationale Raumstation angedockt worden warfare, soll der Kolonie als Schutzschild dienen. Doch das Leben im Weltraum fordert einen hohen Tribut, und die meisten Menschen sterben, bis schließlich nur noch sieben Frauen übrig sind, um eine neue Zivilisation zu begründen. 5000 Jahre später existieren zwei Völker: die Nachfahren derer, die die Katastrophe auf der Erde überlebt haben, sind primitive Siedler; die sieben Stämme der Nachkommen der Sieben Urmütter von der Raumstation hingegen hochkultiviert ― und sie machen sich auf, die Erde zu kolonialisieren …

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Yes, Tommy. ” Pause. ” “Yes. ” “I talked to Kara on Saturday. ” “Yeah. ” He could always tell when she was struggling. Depression was difficult to hide. Her last serious bout had been over two years ago. With any luck the beast was gone for good. More to the point, it didn’t sound like there were any gunmen in her apartment, holding her hostage. “I have to run,” he said. ” “Sure, Tommy. ” He dropped the receiver in its cradle and steadied himself on the counter. He was really in a pickle this time, wasn’t he?

I’m so sorry, Tommy. ” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “If you only knew. ” “We have a problem, Kara,” he said, pacing. She was going to kill him, but he was beyond that now. ” “I was there with her in New York. ” “You helped her out,” Kara said. ” “Well, I helped her out. ” She tilted her head. “But you didn’t sell your end of the tour company. ” “No, I didn’t sell out. ” He didn’t answer. “Thomas? ” She lifted her hands in exasperation and turned away. ” She spun back. ” “Too much to pay back right away.

Born in hell. They ate in near-perfect silence thirty feet from each other in a dark hall hewn from granite deep in the Swiss Alps. Black iron lamps along the walls cast a dim amber light through the room. No servants, no other furniture, no music, no one except Carlos Missirian and Valborg Svensson seated at the exquisite dining table. Carlos sliced the thick slab of beef with a razor-sharp blade and watched the flesh separate. Like the parting of the Red Sea. He cut again, aware that the only sound in this room was of two serrated knives cutting through meat into china, severing fibers.

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Amalthea: Roman by Neal Stephenson

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