Alien-contact yarn from the author of Reunion on Neverend (1994), etc. Ironically, the part-bionic Lieutenant Commander Alis Mary Nussem and the man she blames for the accident in which her original body was damaged, scientist Karl Stanton, end up on the same ship near Pluto when a body the size of a small moon hurtles into the solar system. On the surface of ""Cantaloupe,"" the investigators discover a wrecked spaceship and, nearby, a deep hole drilled into the body by a probe. Though one crew member is killed investigating the wreck, Alis, Karl, and others descend into the hold and discover a bizarre, pulsing tangle of chambers, elevators, and pipes: Clearly Cantaloupe is alive in some fashion. But it's also headed for a collision with a space station near Earth before plunging into the sun. After many adventures, a further death, and injuries, and just as it seems there's no escape for Alis, Karl, and the other survivors, they learn that Cantaloupe is pregnant--and about to give birth! A taut, solidly developed adventure with well-handled character interactions: Though Stith dodges all the really tough alien-contact question, this is his best outing so far.