by Gwyneth Jones
Written and set long before Spirit. A rather strange book, clearly intended as a very different take than the usual on first contact. A work I can admire rather than love, and I didn't find this nearly as engaging as Spirit. In particular, it seemed to vary between segments of the novel which I saw the theme play out while losing or being less affected by the actual process of events, in following what was actually happening. Then there were parts that I followed the direct movements of characters and unfolding of events while losing sight of the wider importance of the events in question.
Still, clearly a major work by a major author, and offers some intriguing rethinkings of the stock first contact story.
Better than: Beyond the Veil of Stars by Robert Reed
Worse than: Spirit by Gwyneth Jones