The Ring of Charon Author:Roger MacBride Allen The "knowledge crash" has come at last. — Both technology and the world economy seem to have reached their natural limits, and a slow collapse is overtaking all the Earth. Funding is still being provided for independent research out in the now-colonized Solar System despite the problems, in hopes that these last citadels of technological experim... more »entation will discover the means to reverse the home world's economic and educational decline. But time and money are fast running out, and some stations will certainly be given orders to shut down soon...
Among the geniuses living in far-distant research facilities is Larry Chao, an innovative thinker involved in Pluto's gravity control program - a young man who makes a cataclysmic discovery just as the order to close down Pluto station comes through.
While running an unauthorized experiment in gravity control, Larry activates the human-created mechanical ring around Pluto's moon, Charon, and inadvertently sets off a terrifying chain of events., Because the resulting gravity beam is detected by an alien spy - a half organic, half-mechanical being who has been waiting for eons, undetected, in the heart of Earth's moon.
Following a program instilled in it ages before, the alien responds. And suddenly Earth disappears!
Where has the planet and it's population gone? Can the remaining humans, scattered throughout the Solar System, locate and reclaim their mother world? Or will they, too, find themselves powerless to defeat the unknown aliens and destined to share Earth's mysterious fate? A Science Fiction Book Club edition« less