Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Firefall (Firefall #1-2)” as Want to Read:
Firefall (Firefall #1-2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Firefall #1-2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  788 ratings  ·  62 reviews
This is the Omnibus edition of Blindsight and Echopraxia .


The day sixty-five thousand objects burned briefly around Earth: an unexplained moment of surveillance by an alien intelligence. We called it Firefall.

Two months later, we sent the Theseus reconnaisance mission into deep space. Somewhere past Jupiter, we lost contact.

For the la
Hardcover, 720 pages
Published September 25th 2014 by Head of Zeus
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Firefall, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Peter Watts Firefall is Blindsight and Echopraxia in an omnibus edition. Do not buy this unless a) you've read neither; b) you've read a digital version of…moreFirefall is Blindsight and Echopraxia in an omnibus edition. Do not buy this unless a) you've read neither; b) you've read a digital version of Blindsight and want a physical artefact to remember it by; c) you're a completist. I wrote an intro note to this volume warning people that it contains 50% previously published words, but I'm seeing that Amazon lists Echopraxia and Firefall as "frequently bought together', which is troubling. I'm guessing there are some seriously pissed-off readers out there.

I'm sorry for any confusion. If you want to read Echopraxia without having to pay for Blindsight all over again (and you want to support your local publisher, instead of simply feeding the New York Maw), Head of Zeus will be putting out a standalone version a few months down the road.


Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  788 ratings  ·  62 reviews

Sort order
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, z-to-a-watts
Note: links inserted in the review contain minor spoilers.

I’ve had my fair share of sci-fi works, with mind-blowing ideas and, at times, with worlds and concepts hard to imagine. But this duology was the most dense and tough I had read so far.


02/13/2082: Earth is surrounded by 65,000 alien objects, named Fireflies which after a little while, burned in atmosphere. Humanity is caught off guard and reactions are all over the spectrum. The quest in pursuing why/who/what sent them be
Firefall is an omnibus edition of Blindsight and Echopraxia. While my review of Blindsight is and ever shall remain "The most mind-numbingly horrifying thing I've ever read.", Firefall was something quite different.

Before I even start reviewing Firefall I want to say that nobody alive works as hard as Watts: and that it's completely worth tracking down the two prequels to this piece, The Colonel and Orientation Day

Set parallel to the Theseus mission out to Big Ben, Firefa
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I am naked as I type this. I was naked writing the whole damn book”. I have to comply with the protocol when writing the review too.
- “Living fourteen thousand years didn’t make me a genius, I just had time.
- Time... You can’t see it, you can’t hear it, you can’t weight it, you can’t... measure it in a laboratory. It’s a subjective sense of... becoming what we are instead of what we were a nanosecond ago, becoming what we will be in another nanosecond. The whole piece of time is a landscape exi
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly astonishing. This book has dared tread to places I’ve never even considered existed and managed it all with nail-biting tension. Watts explains concepts that are by their very nature post-human, post-homunculus, but does so in ways which are engaging and understandable for us basic humans. Where he got his ideas, I will never understand, regardless that he spells them out in detail in the post-script! Completely unique and masterful in scope and design.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ensimmäinen puolikas, Blindsight, 5/5. Toinen puolikas, Echopraxia, ehkä 3/5. Ei jotenkin yllä ideoidensa ja draamallisen jännitteensä puolesta samalla tasolle. Vaikka huippukohtiakin toki on. Samanlaista whoa-efektiä ei kuitenkaan aiheuttanut.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blindsight is rather hard science fiction (for a first contact novel featuring vampires in space, um) that - as good scifi should - asks difficult questions, in this case about humanity, consciousness and emotion. I found it interesting and thought-provoking rather than enjoyable - good brain food, but don't expect a light at the end of the tunnel or much else in the way of sustenance for the heart.

More thoughts on Blindsight.

Like Blindsight, Echopraxia may be one of those books that will sit be
Dave White
Apr 20, 2018 marked it as never-finished
Full of great ideas, but would it kill to make it a bit more approachable? People on the internets are prising it for it's inovative ideas, but also mention how it took them 3 reads to appreciate it. Aint nobody have time for that.

I'm torn tho, reading about the book seems like such an interesting experience and yet when I open the actual book my mind just automatically starts skipping paragraphs.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, sci-fi
Joy of joys! This book finishes at 88%, and the rest is acknowledgements and notes. Thank goodness, but this was a slog.

Or rather, Echopraxia - the second book in the duology - was a slog.

The compendium of Firefall is made up of Blindsight and Echopraxia. The two cover the fallout of first contact.

In Blindsight, we travel with the crew dispatched to investigate the source of the objects which alerted Earth to the undeniable fact of alien life. Siri Keeton is our narrator, and he's there strictly
Nathan Griffiths
May 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
So this was an omnibus of two books (Blindsight and Echopraxia) which tell seperate but related stories of first contact with aliens in a near-ish future. The first part of the omnibus (Blindsight) was as dense and sometimes impenetrable as other reviews had lead me to expect - however the overall story of the spaceship & crew encountering a genuinely disturbing and quite original alien entity did engage me and there were a few thrills and chills in there that kept me reading.

However. The s
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Dnf. Only managed to get through the first book.
Started out interesting and new but faded into a drama more than an alien exploration. Rape and victim blaming trigger warning and possible stockholme syndrome where the victim tries to save his rapist which is even worse because in this society people don't have sex physically, they have sex virtually so. Yeah. Didn't want to drag myself through the second half.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Firefall comprises two novels - I've just finished reading the first, Blindisght, and here is its review

I couldn't finish part 2, unfortunately.
Winter Sophia Rose
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dark & Gripping! Loved It!
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Oh, where to start? Reading this double hard SF offering made me giddy with glee! If you don't have at least a passing interest in the sciences and emerging tech, you will probably hate this. If your eye was drawn to a mention of zombies and vampires, stop right there. There is absolutely nothing for Twilight and Walking Dead fans here. Move on.

In Blindsight, the first of two novels incorporated into Firefall, Watts draws on current and nascent: biology, neuroscience, propulsion, particle, mate
Brian S
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
OVERALL RATING: 4 stars (8 out of 10)

Overall, a very interesting and enjoyable science fiction read.

I think the first book, Blindsight, had the more original, imaginative, and compelling sci-fi elements to it, but the characterizations and overall plot fell a bit flat for me. I think the very nature of the characters, particularly the main protagonist, does not help since he is by his very nature not a very relate-able person. I also found the pacing and writing quality to be a bit inconsistent,
This was a tough read, so tough that I had to take a break part way through. There is no way that this could be described as a light read.

The story is told from the point of view of Siri Keeton, who clearly has a neurological disorder. Is this what the world looks like from the point of view of an autistic? The other characters are distant and barely described in the text. We don't really meet them, we just hear what they had to say.

The text is a dense, at times, difficult to penetrate. I think
John Gray
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first book, Blindsight, is excellent, told from the point of view of a truly unique character, Siri, who is chosen to go on a first contact mission on board a ship called Thesus. Peter Watts knows his stuff (which prompted me to undertake some fascinating reading to catch up) the science is hard and cutting edge, yet never overpowers the story being told. The aliens involved are properly exotically alien too, fully original in a way I'd never considered before.
The next book, Echopraxia, is
Tom Henry
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First off, two stories in one omnibus edition, stories that are linked together through father and son (but set within a few years of each other), both separate, extraordinary journeys from Earth to space and back again: fusing together diverse characters (melding hunters and their prey into an unlikely galactic search team), pitting them against an unknown, unquantifiable threat, and then watching the whole thing unravel. Is there intelligent life out there? You bet, and even the dead can't sav ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had previously read echopraxia without reading blindsight. stupid move. so I bought this and read it properly. its amazing. it is so tough and my intellect was often foundering. despite this I found it to be totally engrossing, banged through it. hard sci fi with lots of horror. its a first contact novel as good as annhilation
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I seriously dislike the weird style of this omnibus. Confusing jargon and the slightly shallow story didn't help either. I have read Blindsight twice in attempt to recheck if I have missed anything -- don't walk my steps and steer clear of it.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first I found this a really tough read and it took me a while to figure out what was actually going on! It is ultimately about humanity, what is it that makes us human and questions why. Moments were a real head fuck. Not for the faint hearted or those who are psychologically stable.
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A view on the future with some very interesting points about human evolution both in the past and in the future.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chris Aldridge
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dirk Janssen
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
It's no easy reading, but at least it is dark in a lovecraftian sense. The vampires are genuinely scary.
James Kemp
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to James by: Charlie Stross
This is an epic science fiction first contact piece that left me wondering about sentience, consciousness and whether I could trust anything I saw, heard or felt. It is certainly the best book that I have read so far in 2015.

The book is an expansion of a previous novella, which is about half of the story. It's set in an advanced human spaceship travelling out to make contact with some suspicious anomalies in the outer solar system a few years after a massive extraterrestial probing of Earth, th
Down With People
i love this vampires so very very much
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So now I've finished reading through Blindsight and Echopraxia cover to cover for the second time... and I still think it probably has the best synthesis of sci-fi themes and good writing I have ever encountered anywhere in the whole storytelling world - yes, there were some other really cool sci-fies that left me in a terrible state of perpetual awe that I never really recovered from... like Greg Egan's Orthogonal trilogy for example... and there's a lot of catching up to do in the realm of so ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the Rifters trilogy and fans of [post,trans]humanist scifi
Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 4
boobs: 0
bombs: 4
bondage: 0
blasphemy: 2
Bechdel Test: PASS
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.

Peter Watts makes scifi exciting for me again. This omnibus reads like a single epic; much like his beloved Rifters trilogy, the action in the latter book picks up
Guy Haley
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
From SFX #254.

Human obsolescence beckons.

Firefall is by turns brilliant and merciless, a science-fictionalised philosophical argument that human sentience is neither inevitable nor necessary, and that freewill is an illusion. Dressed up, naturally, with aliens and spaceships and such. Originally two books, it’s released here in the UK in one volume.

Blindsight (original publication date 2006) is set at the tail end of a post-singularity 21st century. The catalysing event is the unexpected survey
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I just started reading this today. Its an 750-page combined version of Watt's "Blindsight" and "Echopraxia". I had mine shipped-over from the UK more than a year ago, but its now available in the States.

I first thought, I was just going to read the second part, "Echopraxia". After reading the Forward, I decided to start at the beginning, because it was a long time ago that I'd read "Blindsight", and I only vaguely remember it. I remember some tropes like vampires, AI, and 'real' Newtonian spacef
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover for this book 3 16 Sep 30, 2017 10:45PM  
  • Fools
  • Unwelcome Bodies
  • Salt
  • Wetware (Ware #2)
  • The Lost Art
  • Cry Havoc #1
  • The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2015 Edition
  • The Agonizing Resurrection of Victor Frankenstein and Other Gothic Tales
  • Under the Amoral Bridge (The Bridge Chronicles, #1)
  • The Artificial Kid
  • Slabscape: Dammit (Slabscape, #2)
  • Condomnauts
  • Creation Machine (The Spin Trilogy, #1)
  • Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero
  • Engineering Infinity
  • The Bloodline Feud (The Merchant Princes, #1-2)
  • Flaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the Seal
  • Succession (Succession #1-2)

Other books in the series

Firefall (2 books)
  • Blindsight (Firefall, #1)
  • Echopraxia (Firefall, #2)
“We all come into the story halfway through, we all catch up as best we can, and we're all gonna die before it ends.” 10 likes
“The strident emotional belief that children made you happy, even when all the data pointed to misery. The high-amplitude fear of sharks and dark-skinned snipers who would never kill you; indifference to all the toxins and pesticides that could. The mind was so rotten with misrepresentation that in some cases it literally had to be damaged before it could make a truly rational decision—and should some brain-lesioned mother abandon her baby in a burning house in order to save two strangers from the same fire, the rest of the world would be more likely to call her a monster than laud the rationality of her lifeboat ethics. Hell, rationality itself—the exalted Human ability to reason—hadn’t evolved in the pursuit of truth but simply to win arguments, to gain control: to bend others, by means logical or sophistic, to your will. Truth had never been a priority. If believing a lie kept the genes proliferating, the system would believe that lie with all its heart. Fossil feelings. Better off without them, once you’d outgrown the savanna and decided that Truth mattered after all. But Humanity wasn’t defined by arms and legs and upright posture. Humanity had evolved at the synapse as well as at the opposable thumb—and those misleading gut feelings were the very groundwork on which the whole damn clade had been built. Capuchins felt empathy. Chimps had an innate sense of fair play. You could look into the eyes of any cat or dog and see a connection there, a legacy of common subroutines and shared emotions.” 5 likes
More quotes…