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A Darkling Sea Audiobook, by James L. Cambias Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: James L. Cambias Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781483084473
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Beneath a sky of ice, three worlds collide.

On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A stunning debut! Alien races to rival Larry Niven, world-building to rival Hal Clement, and lots of rip-roaring adventure. James Cambias will be one of the century’s major names in hard science fiction.”

    Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award–winning author

  • “Fast-paced, pure quill hard science fiction…Cambias delivers adroit plot pivots that keep the suspense coming.”

    Gregory Benford, Nebula Award–winning author

  • “The best story about an alien race and its environment that I’ve read in a long time. Cambias is in the same league as Hal Clement.”

    Vernor Vinge, Hugo Award–winning author

  • “This is great fun—traditional science fiction but with today’s science. And I love the aliens.”

    Jo Walton, Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award–winning author

  • “Cambias writes with a light touch and occasional flashes of humor, and the science supporting his novel is sound and unobtrusive. This is an impressive debut by a gifted writer.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Like Silverberg, who developed fully realized alien societies in such novels as Downward to the Earth (to which this novel bears some thematic resemblance), Cambias makes the Sholen and Ilmataran people and cultures as real as the more familiar human component. Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An exceptionally thoughtful, searching, and intriguing debut.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “A compelling read.”

    Michael Flynn, author of On the Razor’s Edge

  • “A fascinating exploration of alien lives at the extreme edges of an alien world.”

    Brenda Cooper, award-winning author of The Silver Ship and the Sea

  • “Cambias’ exploration of truly alien politics is fast, fun, and packed with characters you’ll cheer for. It’s exciting to welcome an exuberant new voice to the ranks of hard science fiction!”

    Karl Schroeder, author of Ventus

  • “Cambias’ underwater space exploration is a fun adventure, with multiple story lines following the elusive Ilmatarans, the humans trying to get a glimpse of this unseen race as well as the Sholen—another alien species trying to end the expedition. Cambias’ aliens are fascinating, and his commentary on the ethics of interstellar travel and the ultimate destructiveness of human nature gives the story depth. Added humor makes A Darkling Sea a quick, enjoyable read.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014
  • A Washington Post Best Book of 2014 in Science Fiction and Fantasy

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About the Author

James L. Cambias has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, and the 2001 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and children.

About the Narrator

Patrick Lawlor, an award-winning narrator, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many starred audio reviews from Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.