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“Hogan skillfully draws the reader into a fascinating philosophical and theological debate, without ever forgetting he’s supposed to entertain and tell a good story.” —Newsday

Long ago, an alien “searcher” ship flew too close to a star gone nova. Though heavily damaged, the ship landed on one of Saturn’s moons, Titan.

Attempting to fulfill its original function of seeding suitable planets for exploitation, the ship creates a bewildering society of self-replicating machines that gives rise to a bizarre ecosystem and culture with intelligent beings and organically grown houses.

The intelligent beings are known as Taloids and they have developed their own brand of religion around a mythical figure, a creator of machines, and hence, life.

When humans descend from the sky, the Taloids see them as those creators.

However, powerful financial and industrial interests are all set to exploit the moon and the Taloids to maximize Titan’s vast production potential and the future for the Taloids looks grim.

But they find a champion from an unexpected source. Karl Zambendorf is a “psychic” who has wrangled a place aboard the human mission to Titan. And when all of man’s forces are conspiring to ruthlessly exploit Titan and the Taloids, Zambendorf becomes their champion and in the process challenges not only the religious imperatives of the Taloids, but the core of our own beliefs as well.

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“[Hogan] once again demonstrates his mastery” —Publishers Weekly

“On the cutting edge of technology ... Hogan’s talent carries the reader from peak to peak in the story” —Booklist

“In the grand tradition of the classic super-science stories, but with more exciting science and with better writing too. What more can anyone want?” —Isaac Asimov

In this spectacular sequel to the acclaimed Code of the Lifemaker, James Hogan returns to the strange world of Titan, inhabited by bizarre self-conscious robots.

Little is known about the civilization that gave birth to these machine intelligences until scientists discover blocks of embedded computer code that appear to be strangely out of place.

Reactivating the computer codes results in the re-awakening of ancient alien beings, creators of the strange robot culture, totally alien and immensely powerful. And they are unhappy at being restrained within the narrow confines of the machines they find themselves in. They would much rather be the masters of all.

But while the scientists are helpless against these mighty beings, Karl Zambendorf, the media-star “psychic” and his support team prepare to meet the challenge.

The alien intelligences might be intellectually superior and super rational, but this also makes them hyper-materialistic and mechanistic in their outlook and, hence, totally unprepared for such “higher” concepts as the spiritual, the mystical, and the transcendental. And selling such notions is precisely Zambendorf’s stock in trade.

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