A novel primarily based on the James Cameron sceenplay for the extremely impressive movie of the same name. Card, in an afterword, refuses to label his guide a novelization; and he does add three background chapters to the story as introduced within the movie and fleshes out the motives and basic psychology of the main human characters and the aliens. An clever deep-sea-dwelling creature by accident blunders into a nuclear submarine, causing its destruction. A deep-sea oil-drilling crew is shipped to help a Navy SEAL team investigate the accident, ostensibly to rescue any survivors, however actually to forestall the sub and its weapons from falling into Soviet arms. The rabid SEAL commander have to be prevented by the crew members from causing a nuclear war out of sheer paranoia. In a striking departure from the movie as launched, Card depicts the aliens as threatening all the coastlines of the world with large tsunamis except they comply with common nuclear disarmament.