This is an intelligent and thought-provoking piece of political sci-fi. The discovery of a transmission from another planet at a time of great political strife (America, China and Russia are on the brink of making the Cold War very hot indeed) could potentially bring world peace or world war. Though the consequences affect the whole world, the fate of the world comes down to the petty interactions of individuals – two Hungarian scientists with an old rivalry, an adulterous drunkard encountering an old flame, a young man struggling to deal with his attraction to the boss’s wife.
Considering current political tensions, this book is especially timely, and it’s a shame it’s so hard to fine a copy. The extent to which outside influence can make or break a delicate situation is a powerful message.
The book is very well written but slow moving, taking me several chapters to really get engaged with the characters. The ending is difficult to predict, but the epilogue gives a strong sense of satisfaction and it really is worth plowing through to the end.