Rejoice by Steven Erikson.
Wow! As sometimes happens, I couldn't sleep so I got up in the middle of the night to read for a bit. That usually works out to be an hour or so, then I'm ready to go back to bed. Not this time.
First contact novels are a standard thing in science fiction, but what if there wasn't actually a contact? At least one that doesn't involve the military firing small arms at a starship? The idea hooked me as soon as I read the back cover, and a few pages in I knew I wasn't going back to bed. I finished it before checking social media, and took only a short break to make coffee at the appropriate time.
My brain is still whirling. There will probably have to be a re-read before it goes back to the library. More likely, I'll buy it. I know only a pittance goes to the author, but this is one of the times I wish I could add a tip at the checkout.
Forget Independence Day and all the other warfare first contact stuff. This is different. Thoughtful. More about us than them. A bit of a poke in the eye for some, which was fun. Some inside jokes; I got a few and I'm pretty sure there's more. The writing is delightful, managing a large cast of diverse characters fairly well. If you're a science fiction fan, go buy it. Thank me later.
The first I knew of it was seeing this in my local library. I actually know Robert Sawyer from a writer's convention, so it caught my eye. The rest was a delightful ride.
There are some aspects of this world already beginning to happen. The elites are struggling to maintain control, pushing the buttons ever harder. Some respond, but more don't. Those that don't are perceived as tuning out, being oblivious to what's important. However, I think they are tuning into something that's more important. When they find their voice, the world is going to change, and it will seem to happen overnight. I suspect Greta is merely the first whisper.
Deadwood of the Day