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Shiva Descending

Written By:Gregory Benford / William Rotsler - 1980

  • Shiva Descending - Gregory Benford / William Rotsler cover


It's not a disaster. It's the end.

The first strikes destroyed Cleveland, Tunis, and parts of Alaska, Kansas, Canada and Australia. That was barely the beginning.


The swarm—a cloud of meteors and asteroids 50,000 miles across—was coming. Hundreds of missiles put Earth under siege, forcing the world into a panicked hell of anarchy and catastrophe. Riots and orgies rampaged in the rubble. And worse waited.


Because at the swarm's heart was Shiva a 30 billion-ton comet set to hit Earth with the force of 250,000 H-bombs. The impact would turn seas into vapor and mountains into dust. Pray, scream, get drunk or run amok—but no one could escape it. No one could survive it.


And no one could stop it.


Collision minus 26 days...

Mobs gathered, looting and raping. In Australia there were mass orgies. A village in Nicaragua was trampled. Four thousand farmers were shot in the Ukraine.

A 55,000 ton meteor hit Shantung Province. Shiva's calling card.

The Israeli prime minister was assassinated. A PBS newsman committed suicide on the air. A general was stoned in front of the White House.

A meteor the size of a building created a second Panama Canal. Honolulu was destroyed by the tidal wave. Shiva's appetizer.

Fires burned unchecked in hundreds of cities. The President of the U.S. stayed in bed, drunk, with his girlfriend.

Earthquakes ravaged Chile, Japan, California, Indonesia. Shiva's greeting.

And in space, four tiny shuttlecraft, cut off from the riot-torn Earth, fought their way into the swarm, toward Shiva. A suicide mission of astronauts, who knew they couldn't destroy the giant comet, or stop the swarm.

But they were about to give their lives in the desperate hope that something of Earth might survive.


A harrowing, relentless novel of terror and destruction