A subterranean black hole is gradually devouring the planet from the inside out, but stopping it could mean destroying the future!

TUNGUSKA, JUNE 30, 1908: The most catastrophic impact in recorded history rocks the Central Siberian plateau, flattening thousands of square kilometres of ancient forest and sending shockwaves around the globe, yet leaving behind not a shred of evidence as to what caused it.

Could the impactor have been a primordial black hole? Earth’s encounter with such a fantastic object — smaller than an atomic nucleus, more massive than a mountain, older than the stars — could account for all the phenomena of the Tunguska Event.

All, save one: An infalling micro-hole should have burrowed unhindered through the solid mantle of the earth, bursting up out of the North Atlantic hours later with as much multi-megaton force as the original impact. Absent any trace of such an exit event, the black-hole hypothesis was swiftly consigned to the dustheap of astrophysical history.

And yet …

110 years after Tunguska, maverick cosmologist Jack Adler is researching a new and improved scenario: What if there was no exit event because the black hole itself never came out? What if it fell into orbit around earth’s core instead? What if it’s still down there, tunneling through the lithosphere, slowly consuming the planet?

Unfortunately, Adler’s not alone in his surmise. A renegade Russian oligarch is plotting to capture the orbiting micro-hole and expose what lurks at its heart: a naked singularity — a gravitational point-source powerful enough to warp space and time itself.

Now only a rookie government agent and the ueber-consultant she’s drafted into helping her stand in the way of a world-spanning conspiracy aiming to conquer the future by rewriting the past.

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About the Book

A cosmic collision, a thousand times more powerful and devastating than an atomic bomb, levels an ancient forest in Siberia. A hundred years of international scientific investigation has yet to reveal the cause.

June 30th, 1908 — In the trackless wastes of Siberia’s remote Tunguska River basin, the most devastating cosmic collision ever recorded flattens hundreds of square miles of ancient forest with a blast a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Yet, after more than a hundred years of international scientific investigation, the cause of the cataclysm remains shrouded in mystery.

Maverick astrophysicist Jack Adler thinks he’s fingered the culprit: the impact with the earth of a submicroscopic black hole, smaller than an atom, more massive than a mountain, older than the stars. What’s more, Jack believes that this fantastic object is still down there, deep inside the Earth, burrowing through its mantle in an ever-decaying orbit that will end only when it has devoured the entire planet. Small wonder if the Russians refer to the voracious black hole by their word for vampire — Vurdalak.

Rookie secret agent Marianna Bonaventure is tracking three missing Russian scientists suspected of involvement in weapons of mass destruction research. The trail leads her to the luxurious megayacht Rusalka, floating corporate headquarters of billionaire Russian industrialist Arkady Grishin. Determined to prove herself, Marianna creates an elaborate ruse in order to infiltrate the enormous vessel — a dangerous gambit that requires the coerced cooperation of a rather special civilian …

Jonathan Knox is one of the country’s most sought-after management consultants; his knack for intuiting hidden relationships among seemingly disparate events serves his Fortune-50 clients well. But when Marianna compels the reluctant Knox to join her undercover on Rusalka, he must grapple with puzzles of a wholly different order of magnitude.

Together, these three must battle a globe-spanning conspiracy intent upon capturing Vurdalak and exploiting its awesome power, a power that can transform the world — or end it.

* * *
Singularity, won Foreword Magazine‘s Book of the Year Award for Science Fiction and the Independent Publisher Group’s IPPY for Best Science Fiction. The podcast of Singularity was a finalist for the Parsec Awards and was named an SFFaudio Essential.

Series: The Archon Sequence, Book 1
Genres: Science Fiction, Technothriller
Publisher: WordFire Press
Publication Year: 2018
ASIN: 1614756252
ISBN: 9781614756255
“The level of ingenuity is immense. The characters grabbed me. SINGULARITY is a wonderful, intricate story — wonderfully well told.”
– Larry Niven, Hugo- and Nebula-winning author of RINGWORLD and THE RINGWORLD ENGINEERS.
“I very much enjoyed Bill DeSmedt’s SINGULARITY. Bill got the vast majority of the physics right, which is highly unusual, especially in a book that is such a good read."
– Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, California Institute of Technology, and author of national bestseller BLACK HOLES AND TIME WARPS, EINSTEIN’S OUTRAGEOUS LEGACY.
“SINGULARITY juggles Clancy, Crichton and THE DA VINCI CODE. An innovative concept for an end-of-the-world thriller, with convincing research and locomotive pacing.”
– Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of DUNE: HOUSE ATREIDES
“SINGULARITY is an uncommonly good science thriller, quite free of the poetic license some writers take with the laws of nature in order to out together the yarn. I can certainly recommend it.”
– Jacob Buckstein, Michael Polak Professor of Theoretical Physics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and discoverer of black-hole thermodynamics.
With a cast of engaging characters, highly inventive and witty prose, and enough intriguing plot twists to keep readers in a state of perpetual shock until the very last page, SINGULARITY is easily as entertaining as any Michael Crichton or Greg Bear thriller. Equal parts hard science fiction adventure and mainstream technothriller, SINGULARITY is arguably one of the best debuts of the year.
– Paul Goat Allen, editor of Barnes & Noble Explorations
“DeSmedt veers an action-packed thriller into perilous realms of black hole physics. The combination of adrenaline and intellect sizzles."
– David Brin, New York Times bestselling author of THE POSTMAN
“As a physicist, I find one of the most satisfying aspects of Bill DeSmedt’s SINGULARITY is that it does time travel right. It has a wonderfully complete feel, reminiscent of Isaac Asimov’s “The Red Queen’s Race” or Terry Gilliam’s 12 MONKEYS. And, as a specialist in black hole astrophysics, I would also have to say that this is one of the most creative uses of primordial black hole theory in literature.”
– Dr. Scott A. Hughes, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“SINGULARITY is a swift gripping novel with a goose-pimple mix of scary science and near-future action. An excellent debut from Bill DeSmedt — and I’ll be looking forward to his next one."
– Greg Bear, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of DARWIN’S RADIO
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About the Author
Bill DeSmedt

Bill DeSmedt has spent his life living by his wits and his words. In his time, and as the spirit has moved him, he’s been: a Soviet Area expert and US/USSR exchange student, a computer programmer and system designer, a telecommunications consultant, an Artificial Intelligence practitioner, a son, a husband and lover, a father and grandfather, an omnivorous reader with a soft spot for science fiction and science fact, and now, Lord help us, a novelist. He’s tried to pack as much of that checkered history as he could into his “Archon Sequence” technothrillers Singularity, Dualism, and the forthcoming Triploidy.

Bill’s non-fiction writing credits include an unconventional two-part attempt to marry the fields of cognitive psychology and software engineering for the journal DataBase Programming & Design, a chapter on artificial intelligence in foreign language learning for Melissa Holland’s Intelligent Language Tutors, a beginner’s guide to natural-language processing for the Proceedings of the Computer Game Developers Conference, and a treatise on storytelling as a tool of military command for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Other Books in "The Archon Sequence"