Alien-visitation yarn from the author of Cradle of Saturn (1999), etc. When the staid, regimented humanoid Hyadeans arrive on Earth with their advanced science—based on dull practicality, not theory—many Western governments and their rich, powerful backers jump to form alliances with them. Others, particularly in the East, aren't so thrilled, seeing the inevitable economic dislocations and hardships as not worth the exchange. Still, the US signs up, and fixer/arrangers like Roland Cade grow wealthy supplying the notably inartistic and unimaginative aliens with artworks, creative computer programming, and the like. But, meantime, Western society grows ever more Hyadean-like and regimented, with increasing surveillance, intrusions, and prohibitions. A resistance movement, Sovereignty, forms a terrorist wing that sabotages the ever-increasing numbers of Hyadean troops. Eventually even Cade, tricked into contacting his ex-wife, resistance member Marie, realizes what's going on, as does his Hyadean associate Vrel. The Hyadean bigwigs, in need of new, attractive real estate, have made a deal to carve up Earth into huge estates—and they're exterminating the current inhabitants after denouncing them as terrorists. But the Hyadeans, it seems, are also disunited: they have their own separatists, the Querl. Meanwhile, many Hyadeans on Earth are growing aware of the true situation—usually they accept whatever they're told—and the truth disturbs them.
Intriguing and thoughtful, with an agreeably ironic edge.