In the first novel, ‘Signal to Noise’, a not very likeable maverick cryptologist decodes an alien message and starts to use it for his own advancement, trading with an alien about as trustworthy as himself. Things go pear-shaped when his shady trading deals with aliens result in the total destruction of all life on Earth. Jack Potter, the main character, thinks that no alien could be as venal as he is, but he turns out to be wrong. All die. O the embarrassment.
Then, in the sequel, ‘A Signal Shattered’, just when Potter thinks things can’t get any worse – things get worse.
By the end of the novel, Potter is no more likeable, but because he’s resurrected a few thousand people into a virtual universe, he’s feeling smug and fully self-justified. I don’t often come across a character who I’d like to deliver a good kicking to, but in the case of Jack Potter, I’ll make an exception.
All still die. O the embarrassment.