Crawlers by John Shirley

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In a secret government lab somewhere in Nevada, a young scientist cowers in darkness–waiting, listening, and calculating his chances of surviving the unspeakable carnage that has left him trapped and alone. Or almost alone.

Soon after, a covert military operation “cleanses” all traces of a top-secret project gone horrifically wrong.

Three years later, it begins again–when the quiet of a warm autumn night in a sleepy California town is shattered by a streak of light across the sky, the thunder of impact, and the unleashing of something insidious. Spreading, multiplying, and transforming everything in its path, this diabolical intelligence will not be denied until the townsfolk–and eventually, all living things–are conquered. Until they are all crawling. . . .

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About John Shirley

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John Shirley is a critically acclaimed cyberpunk, sci-fi and horror writer, titles include City Come-Walkin' and Dracula In Love. He wrote the first screenplay for The Crow. He has also written many tie-ins including Constantine, Doom and Bioshock: Rapture. His short story collection Black Butterflies won a Bram Stoker, the International Horror Guild Award and was one of the Publisher's Weekly best books of 1998.
Published December 18, 2007 by Del Rey. 402 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The novel's depiction of humans devolving into group-mind–controlled machines proves an excellent metaphor for Shirley's take here on the human condition, which posits that some of us are already machinelike and others more "awake";

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