Peter Watts is a Canadian science fiction writer, trained in marine biology, who writes some of the wildest--and best--science fiction currently out there. His most recent novel, Echopraxia, is quite a ride:
If this book doesn't blow your mind, you're just not paying attention! All his other books are excellent and almost equally mind-blowing. In addition, you can get free pdfs of a lot of his back catalog, completely approved by the author. And he has a very funky blog, with a very funky name, No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons, which I recommend. Time you made this gentleman's acquaintance!It's the eve of the twenty-second century: a world where the dearly departed send postcards back from Heaven and evangelicals make scientific breakthroughs by speaking in tongues; where genetically engineered vampires solve problems intractable to baseline humans and soldiers come with zombie switches that shut off self-awareness during combat. And it's all under surveillance by an alien presence that refuses to show itself.Daniel Bruks is a living fossil: a field biologist in a world where biology has turned computational, a cat's-paw used by terrorists to kill thousands. Taking refuge in the Oregon desert, he's turned his back on a humanity that shatters into strange new subspecies with every heartbeat. But he awakens one night to find himself at the center of a storm that will turn all of history inside-out.Now he's trapped on a ship bound for the center of the solar system. To his left is a grief-stricken soldier, obsessed by whispered messages from a dead son. To his right is a pilot who hasn't yet found the man she's sworn to kill on sight. A vampire and its entourage of zombie bodyguards lurk in the shadows behind. And dead ahead, a handful of rapture-stricken monks takes them all to a meeting with something they will only call "The Angels of the Asteroids."Their pilgrimage brings Dan Bruks, the fossil man, face-to-face with the biggest evolutionary breakpoint since the origin of thought itself.