The Shape of Silence by Stephen Leigh is his standalone science fiction first contact novel, free for a limited time courtesy publisher Phoenix Pick Press.
This was originally published in 2001 by HarperCollins’ Eos imprint as Thunder Rift using the Matthew Farrell pseudonym. The story is an anthropological human/alien first contact one where the opening of a space rift fuels a generation of speculation and exploration as to what lies behind it, and the discovery of a very different alien culture which relies on completely different senses.
Offered DRM-free worldwide, available through November.
Free for a limited time through November as their Free Book of the Month selection @ the publisher’s special promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi available worldwide, requires valid email address; follow the instructions on the page to reset the suggested price to $0.00)
There’s also a tie-in deal for four additional previously-published novels by the author, comprising two standalone dark fantasies: The Abraxas Marvel Circus originally published by ROC in 1990 and The Woods originally published in 2012 by Phoenix Pick Press, and his Spectrum Award-winning Mictlan science fiction duology published by HarperCollins’ Avon Eos imprint during the late 1990s, which explores genderbending themes somewhat akin to Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, set on a colony world where the native habitat has started to mutate the human settlers.
I’ve previously read the Mictlan duology, and found it rather interesting and enjoyable, and can certainly recommend it for the asking price of just $5.97 for the extra 4 books, if you think the story elements might appeal to you.
A UNIQUE FIRST CONTACT NOVEL
First contact was never supposed to be like this.
A sudden rift appears in near-earth space, causing electronic components to permanently fail and cause total chaos. As Earth’s fragile technological society disintegrates, no one can answer the obvious question: What is the rift, and who or what has created it?
A new generation comes to age attempting to answer these questions, and Taria Spears, an anthropologist, is selected as part of the crew on the exploratory ship Lightbringer. Lightbringer’s mission is to investigate the wormhole-like Rift and, if possible, to pass through it to find out what lies on the other side, and to seek some answers.
But what if all they find is an alien culture where sound, not sight, is the primary sense?