THE MOUNTIAN AND THE SEA by Ray Nayler (Turkmenistan)
Humankind discovers intelligent life in an octopus species with its own language and culture, and sets off a high-stakes global competition to dominate the future.
Rumors begin to spread of a species of hyperintelligent, dangerous octopus that may have developed its own language and culture. Marine biologist Dr. Ha Nguyen, who has spent her life researching cephalopod intelligence, will do anything for the chance to study them.
The transnational tech corporation DIANIMA has sealed the remote Con Dao Archipelago, where the octopuses were discovered, off from the world. Dr. Nguyen joins DIANIMA’s team on the islands: a battle-scarred security agent and the world’s first android.
The octopuses hold the key to unprecedented breakthroughs in extrahuman intelligence. The stakes are high: there are vast fortunes to be made by whoever can take advantage of the octopuses’ advancements, and as Dr. Nguyen struggles to communicate with the newly discovered species, forces larger than DIANIMA close in to seize the octopuses for themselves.
But no one has yet asked the octopuses what they think. And what they might do about it.
A near-future thriller about the nature of consciousness, Ray Nayler’s The Mountain in the Sea is a dazzling literary debut and a mind-blowing dive into the treasure and wreckage of humankind’s legacy.
The Mountain and the Sea
by Ray Nayler (Turkmenistan 2003-05)
$14.99 (Kindle); $22.32/1 credit; (Audio Book); $28.00 (Hardcover)
Ray Nayler (Turkmenistan 2003-05) has lived and worked in Russia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Balkans for nearly two decades. He is a Foreign Service Officer, and previously worked in international educational development, as well as serving in the Peace Corps in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Ray began publishing speculative fiction in 2015 in the pages of Asimov’s with the short story “Mutability.” Since then, his critically acclaimed stories have seen print in Clarkesworld, Analog, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Nightmare, as well as in several “Best of the Year” anthologies. His SF translations from Russian have appeared in Clarkesworld and Samovar. His story “Winter Timeshare” from the January/February 2017 issue of Asimov’s was collected in The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction. Ray’s debut novel, The Mountain in the Sea, will be released this fall by MCD x FSG.
Called “One of the up-and-coming masters of SF short fiction” by Locus Online, Ray Nayler’s critically acclaimed stories have seen print in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Analog, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Nightmare, as well as in many “Best Of” anthologies, including The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of The Year’s Best Science Fiction.
For nearly half his life, he has lived and worked outside the United States in the Foreign Service and the Peace Corps, including a stint as Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Officer at the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. Beginning in September 2022, he will serve as the international advisor to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
And among others, he is the author of the stories “Rain of Days”, “Yesterday Wolf,” “Sarcophagus,” and “Albedo Season.”
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The name of the book is incorrect. The title is The Mountain in the Sea