In December, 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who -- or what -- is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future -- and our own.
"First contact" between humans and aliens has been a prominent topic of science fiction since its inception, but arguably no one has presented a more fascinating exploration of that theme than beloved astronomer Carl Sagan in this, his one and only novel. Sagan, who spent much of his professional career arguing for the likelihood of the existence of alien species, imagines an entirely rational scenario wherein an interstellar race reaches out to humanity through the universal language of mathematics. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway uses radio telescopes to monitor the skies for signs of a transmission, and when she deducts a string of prime numbers hidden within a transcription of supposedly random noise, she recognizes it as a sign of intelligence. As Ellie digs further into the mysterious sequence, she discovers a set of instructions for building a spacecraft which she believes may enable her to visit with whoever sent the message. Though Ellie's unlikely plan eventually seems to come to fruition, she is unable to convince anyone that her spectacular encounter with an alien life form actually happened, and soon finds herself accused of engineering an intergalactic deception.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Science Fiction + Fantasy, Conflicts + Dualities, Science + Technology
- July 1, 1997
- July 1, 1997
- Carl Sagan