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What if the cataclysmic Tunguska explosion of 1908 was caused, not by a meteor or a comet, but by a microscopic black hole?

What if that fantastic object - smaller than an atom, older than the stars, heavier than a mountain - is still down there, orbiting deep inside the earth, slowly consuming the planet?

What if only a rookie government agent and an uncannily-insightful consultant stand between a renegade Russian billionaire and his plans to use the black hole to change history - or end it?

What if it's all true?

For an alternative view of the Tunguska event and to explore the science behind Singularity, visit the Vurdalak Conjecture website.

Accolades
* Winner of the Gold Medal for Science Fiction in Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year Awards

* Winner of the Independent Publishers Association's Ippy prize for Best Fantasy/Science Fiction novel of 2004

"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

"DeSmedt veers an action-packed thriller into perilous realms of black hole physics. The combination of adrenaline and intellect sizzles."
- David Brin, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author


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  • June 30th, 1908, a forty-megaton explosion obliterates a swath of ancient Siberian forest half the size of the state of Rhode Island, yet leaves behind not a trace of the object that caused it. What was it? A meteor? A comet? An alien spacecraft in reactor overload? — Or something stranger still?

  • New York City, present day. Marianna Bonaventure, rookie field agent for the supersecret agency known as CROM, tries to nail the shadowy Grishin Enterprises International conglomerate for trafficking in weapons of mass destruction research, and nearly pays for it with her life.

  • Arkady Grishin, billionaire chairman of Grishin Enterprises International, has a secret agenda of his own where the Tunguska Event is concerned - a secret his minions are only too willing to kill for.

  • Marianna pins her hopes of building a case against Grishin on a man with a past, an unconventional analyst for the Archon Consulting Group named Jonathan Knox. Meanwhile, half a world away, maverick cosmologist Jack Adler tries prove that the true cause of the Tunguska Event was - a submicroscopic black hole!

  • Marianna drags Jon Knox into her investigation against his will, and gets more than she bargained for.

  • As Jonathan Knox makes some unusual preparations for his morning meeting, on the far side of the planet Jack Adler toils to the top of a sacred mountain, to a meeting with an ancient holy man who can teach him the secret of the Tunguska Event and, just possibly, the meaning of his own life.

  • Knox learns more than he ever wanted to know about CROM's secret inner workings -- and about how his own checkered past fits into their undercover investigation of Grishin Enterprises.

  • Guided by an aged shaman's chants, Jack Adler reconstructs the aftermath of the Tunguska Event, and the evidence for a tiny black hole as the culprit. And all the while, Grishin's hired killer Yuri is closing in on his next target -- Jack himself.

  • When Marianna fails at sweettalking Knox into joining CROM's anti-Grishin taskforce, her boss Pete Aristos puts the pressure on, only to have that backfire too -- big time!

  • Plagued by insomnia, Jack Adler wrestles late into the night with balky equipment and his own doubts -- which means he is there to witness it when his primordial black hole goes flashing across his screens. Is it the greatest discovery of all time, or the greatest danger the world has ever faced?

  • Jonathan Knox wanders the halls of the museum and the corridors of his own memories, pondering whether to help CROM, so lost in thought that he fails to notice he's got company.

  • Jack Adler's academic adversaries seek to quash his research via bureaucratic maneuvering. GEI hitman Yuri, however, favors the direct approach.

  • Marianna manages to extricate Knox from the clutches of Russian State Security in the nick of time. But the rescue comes with strings attached ...

  • Knox attends the Kennedy Center gala intent upon winding up his involvement in the Grishin investigation as quickly and painlessly as possible, only to find that Marianna has something quite different in mind. Meanwhile, the target of that investigation, Arkady Grishin himself, retires to GEI's fabulous megayacht Rusalka, there to summon up a computer-generated chronogram of recent Russian history, and drink an ominous toast to its might-have-beens ...

  • Knox and Marianna's tour of the megayacht Rusalka unexpectedly hands them the key they need to break the Grishin case wide open. As far as Knox can see it's mission accomplished, but Marianna's only getting started, and all the while Rusalka is setting sail ...

  • Seeking the secret harbored at Rusalka's heart -- with paper, pencil, and force majeur.

  • A day aboard the megayacht Rusalka offers every manner of indulgence, from romance and frivolity, to remembrance and regret.

  • It's back to business, as Marianna drags a reluctant Knox into a raid on Rusalka's secret lab, while back in DC her boss is planning an assault on a whole different order of magnitude.

  • Marianna raids Rusalka's clandestine lab and discovers riddles wrapped in enigmas: a strange undersea base and an even stranger wall-safe. Meanwhile Knox, running interference for her up on bridge deck, inadvertently learns more from a casual conversation than he was supposed to -- if only he could figure out what it was.

  • A spur-of-the-moment indiscretion is instantly regretted. A post mortem is conducted in the cold, gray light of dawn. And a midnight dinner in Rusalka's sumptuous banquet hall features a curious bit of scientific legerdemain and an even more curious toast.

  • Cosmological reveries presage a wholly unanticipated return from the dead ...

  • Down in Rusalka's secret lab, chief scientist Galina Postrelnikova makes final preparations for the culmination of Grishin's mysterious Antipode Project -- tonight!

  • Their innocents-abroad cover story shredding fast, Knox and Marianna count themselves lucky to catch an unscheduled chopper flight from Rusalka back to the Azores -- until they see that Yuri's coming along for the ride.

  • August 3rd, 10:47 p.m.

  • "The sea is calm to-night" ... and deathly cold.

  • Marianna still can't seem to come to terms with Knox's weird pattern-matching ability. But, then, neither can Knox.

  • At Marianna's urging, Knox dredges up the past -- and, with it, the drug-induced, quantum mechanics-inspired origins of his strange talent.

  • Jon and Marianna land in New York, to find Arkady Grishin's welcoming committee lying in wait.

  • All revved up and no place to go.

  • Grishin has discovered Jon and Marianna's whereabouts once again -- but who is it that has discovered Jack Adler's?

  • Warning: SMUT ALERT. (Bad author! Bad!)

  • All roads lead to Mycroft's mountaintop aerie.

  • What's the worst that could happen?

  • So intent is Mycroft upon breaching the barricades of CROM's communications security that he fails to notice he's being hacked himself.

  • Global causality violation???

  • What DOES the Shadow KGB want with a naked singularity?

  • The Battle of Weathertop.

  • In which the future repays its debts to the past.

  • Knox regains consciousness only to find he's back aboard Rusalka, this time with a score to settle.

  • The voyage down to Antipode station is interrupted by an unexpected intruder, and an unanticipated revelation.

  • Origins of the Antipode Project revealed.

  • If you could gaze into a naked singularity, what would you see?

  • In which the Omega Sequence lives up to its name.

  • This is the way the world ends ...

  • It all comes down to this.

  • All over but the debriefing.

  • ... Or not.

  • The Great Singularity Q and A Episode.

  • Singularity's over, but the science behind it goes on. Join everybody's favorite cosmologist as he delves deeper into the Tunguska Event right here on Podiobooks.com.

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