The Fall of Sirius (1996)

2000 years after the apocalyptic attack of the Waisters on human space Malyene Andreivne and some other humans are woken from cryostasis by strange human/waister hybrids who need her help. Despite the hybrids attempts to become like the Waister to understand them better, the Waister are coming back, a behaviour completely baffling to the hybrids. Are the Waister back to complete what they began millennia ago or is something else afoot?

This book is significantly better than its predecessor. One major point I found extremely annoying in the first book is touched upon, and slightly made clear. In a way the Waister really are stupid, if a highly intelligent autist can be looked upon as someone stupid by other humans.

What also makes the book better is that it feels like as if there’s more plot despite being a very slim book like the first one. Then there’s the much more detailed background, like the society of the hybrids or the Congress, a tool for learning that is a clever idea and makes for some excellent character development, and also for some info-dumps that are neatly integrated into the story.

The ending isn’t as abrupt as the one from the first book and has some intriguing ideas that explains the deeper motivation why the Waisters really have come back. In many ways this is a first contact novel (despite it being the second contact with the waisters), since the first wasn’t more than a one-sided effort to understand the others. If you liked the first you’ll definitely like this one, and if you didn’t you might still like this.

Proposal for a sequel by McCarthy that was never written.