Anomaly
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Anomaly

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  347 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Anomaly examines the prospect of an alien intelligence discovering life on Earth. The technological gulf between mankind and the alien species is measured in terms of millions of years. The only way to communicate is using science, but not everyone is so patient.

Mankind's first contact with an alien intelligence is far more radical than anyone has ever dared imagine. With...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Peter Cawdron at Smashwords (first published September 1st 2011)
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Peter Cawdron
Oct 30, 2011 Peter Cawdron rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
If you read this story before June 2012, you should remove it from your Kindle and download a fresh copy as it has been completely re-edited and given an entirely different ending (which extends the story by 15K)

Well worth having a read, but I might be a little biased in my opinion :)
Sean Randall
Wow. This was a brilliant work, I wolfed it down in a single sitting. It took religious strife to the level of Graham Storrs, had aliens written with an atmosphere of Joe Haldeman but, when taken as a whole sends, I think, a single clear message. The distillation of hard science into an easily digested and understood form, the extraordinarily Human characters, the very real people put on the spot in interesting ways and the aliens themselves shouts to me Hello, Robert J Sawyer, you've got compet...more
ObiWan Canubi
Before Christmas the prospect of me reading a book by an indie author was slim-to-none. Not that I wouldn’t care to read a book not written by an author not named King, Asimov, Poe or Dickens, but for a person that shops within his comfort zone of large retail book stores and his local library how would I find something so obscure. When I look for a book I hit the new release racks and browse the bindings, familiarity is what would catch my eye, and frankly if I had to choose between a no name a...more
Lewis Sellers
The novel had a lot of problems, but I forgave it the issues as I enjoyed the story it told. And the ending. What were the problems? This book is a prime example of why you either need to hire a proof editor or run your draft through a good-sized critique group. There were many grammar problems, including missing punctuation at the end of sentences. I started making a list to send to the author but after half a dozen or so stopped bothering.
Also, of note, character description is handled in an o...more
Josh
Not the best written characters or most satisfying ending, this retelling (in many ways) of Carl Sagan's 'Contact' is still a great sci-fi indie novel, and better written than most of the indie out there (especially the indie sci-fi, which often verges on overdone and comedic).

Indeed, calling it sci-fi is almost a misnomer. This is a thought experiment of how an advanced civilization's probe may go about finding us and initiating contact, and how we would try to study it and work with it.

It's s...more
Colby
A phenomenal Sci-Fi first-contact story. One of the things I love about Cawdron's writing is that he is all about the science. There is violence in his writing, as there is in life, but he doesn't glorify it. It moves the plot along, but the main focus is always intellectualism. Cawdron believes that our brains will be what saves the human race, not our brawn. It's rare to see authors putting the science back in science fiction, and I love it! This guy has some serious skills, and is definitely...more
Fred
This is a very good, very fast read that left me wanting more and left plenty of room for a sequel. It centers around an alien probe to the planet Earth that lands interestingly enough outside of the United Nations building in New York City. The one thing that got me was that the people in the book didn't seem to understand or stop to consider the implications of that fact. Then again, if they had stopped to do so there wouldn't have been much of a story. All in all, very worth the time it took...more
Eric Westrope
I like stories with good science in them. This is one of them.
The description for this book is already in place, so there is no need to repeat it.
So I will just say. this was a great novel. I found the characters interesting as well as the plot. The story had nice pacing, and held my attention from the first page to the last.
If you do like well. written contemporary science fiction stories, with the emphasis on science, grab this one. It is well worth the read.
Graham Storrs
This was essentially a good, well-written book. I enjoyed the fact that it was scientifically solid and that it was discursive. The reason it doesn't get a 5* rating is because it was rather too discursive, without going very deeply into any of the issues, and that the action scenes and the love interest felt as though they'd been tossed in there just to break up the monologue. There was also something just a bit too *nice* about the hero. I'm sure that people like that do exist but maybe they d...more
Stone
Anomaly bristles with new ideas about a first encounter. It's fast paced speculative sci-fi with some insightful developments as humans grapple with something well beyond any of the political institutions.

I'm giving this book full marks. It moves fast and I just wanted to keep reading. It left me thinking about a real encounter after I finished. That's the sort of sci-fi I look for.
Brian
This is hard science fiction for the thinking person. Through the protagonist's experiences, the author takes the reader on an engaging journey of speculative scientific discovery, and it is thrilling to see where each new discovery leads. If you love science, if you love stories that celebrate the joy and adventure of figuring out new and wonderful things, then this story is for you.
Vincent
Slow start for such a short read. You get about 70% in before the real action starts. The ending is well... no spoilers. This is one of the rare books that would probably make a better movie. A lot of science in this one, so be prepared to get your Yahoo! on. If there was another chapter added to the end I would have probably given it 5 stars.
Ujwala
Great imagination - a bit of a politics, a bit of a military, bit of religious views but mostly, science! Loved the way story unfolds explanation of anomaly. Did not like the riot part and though loved the end, I thought it was bit abrupt. Anyway - made a good read and would definitely recommend to all my friends who love to read sci-fi books.
Erwinb
Something strange happens, a big transparent sphere appears right in front of the UN building. At first it's hardly noticed, but then...
A teacher and a journalist get unwillingly involved with the research into the Anomaly. What is it, how to deal with it and when it becomes clear what it is about, how do we and the world at large react?

After reading Feedback I wanted to read more from Peter Cawdron. So far I'm very pleased with his writing. Despite this book clearly being an earlier work and l...more
Myriam
I enjoyed the take this book took on an alien probe. It was very different from the usual depictions, focusing on our responses, rather than the probe itself. However, it was not the most well written work, with a lot of repetitive language and descriptions that were lacking.
William R.
Fantastic book. This is the first science fiction book in a long time to challenge the traditional representation of contact by people of earth with interstellar alien life. The story itself is compelling and appeals to human nature in its most common everyday forms and thinking. The process of discovering something completely new and different turns around to lead the main characters to discover themselves and all of mankind. Peter Cawdron does a fantastic job of presenting difficult science in...more
Mike
Jan 04, 2012 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
A fun read, and well written for an independent book. The characters were a bit thin, and I found the ending a bit disappointing - but overall a good book. I look forward to other novels by this author.
L
Jan 16, 2014 L rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
Ok, 14% of the way into this novel: "Teller [elementary school science teacher] got the impression that he'd [government/intelligence/something honcho] have loved to reopen the prison at Guantanamo Bay just for Cathy [intrepid, gorgeous, easy to underestimate, reporter who not only quietly taped, but broadcast what NASA would prefer to have kept quiet] . . . " Why pick this quote? The optimistic assumption that Guantanamo had been closed! Yes!!! Let's hope Cawdron is prescient! Ok, I also like t...more
Tina Hsu
A vey good science-focused alien encounter book in the vein of Contact or Sphere. I wish the ending had been a bit longer, with more explanation, but other than that it was a very satisfying read.
Ty Smith
Great first book. Quite enjoyed it. Nice to read a book with ideas, rather than action for the sake of action.

Could have used more rayguns though... ;)

Travis
Liked this book. A very "Contact" feel to it with enough creative twists to keep it separate. The underlying global-political tension were a good touch.
Jerry
Good story with some great ideas. Needed a little polish, and a little stronger ending. I hope the author revisits this story with a sequel.
Rob Reitz
For what it was, it was good. Not great writing but I imagine he didn't have the editors like a major author would. I liked the concepts.
Jim Fromm
Unfulfilled promise

Unfulfilled promise

I found myself instantly intrigued by a new take on first contact p, as most sci-fi fans would. Tellar and Cathy's innocent relationship was entertaining, albeit highly unlikely. The rapid social decline to rioting, nationalistic vitriol, and theological bickering, disappointed me. Perhaps do to the present state of the world, it is too close to home and not surprising. I wanted something more. Near the end, Cathy says "We were searching for knowledge when w...more
Jeff
Interesting book. Short. I don't want to give anything away but it surprised and delighted me.
Glenn Harris
An interesting, almost documentary-style narration of a first contact unlike any other.
CK
Good hard sci-fi read. Fairly short. Mixed on the ending.
Jerome
Jan 07, 2012 Jerome added it
Interesting take on alien visitors
Jacob Tjornholm
Not very good, to be honest.

The author does have some very interesting ideas about what it might be like if we were to be contacted by aliens some day, but unfortunately these ideas are never really explored more than superficially.

It seems to me like the book is trying to encompass way to many stories in parallel, especially for its only 150 pages. Apart from the scientific aspects of an alien artifact on Earth, the author explores the implications to our civilization, world politics, the wor...more
Rich Meyer
This book seriously threatened to jump into my top fifty science fiction novels of all time until the lackluster, sudden, and derivative ending. But I still have to give it four stars for being well written and having some excellent characterization, as well as some truly interesting insights on the subject of alien contact. Hack off the last two chapters, which are far to reminiscent of 2010, Mission to Mars, The Abyss and a horde of other sci-fi concepts and you've got a really original tale.
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