Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book kept me entertained from cover to cover. The writing style reminded a lot of The Martian and World War Z, the former being one of my all time favorite books.
The story follows the accidentally discovery of a giant sculpted hand made out of unknown metals. It’s like Earth metal, but lighter. What’s more is that carbon dating these metals proves it to be thousands of years old and yet it’s technologically ahead of anything man-made. Rose Franklin leads a crack team of scientists while they try to find more pieces of this puzzle and assemble them all while trying figure out how we have never found them before now! If you like Sci-Fi, this should be at the top of your list. Unless you’re not a fan of the “Interview” style of writing.
How would you measure their evolution? —You’d want to know when they reached a sufficient understanding of the universe for you to be able to communicate with them in a meaningful way. It would most likely have to be measured technologically. It seems reasonable to assume that most or all species similar to humans would go through more or less the same evolutionary steps. Make fire, invent the wheel, those types of things. Flight might be a good criterion, or spaceflight. If you can look up at the sky, it’s safe to say you’ll eventually try to find a way to get up there, and space-faring species might at least be open to the idea of not being alone in the universe. Unless you were there to observe, you would need a way to detect whatever evolutionary landmark you chose. If you hid these things on a moon, for example, you’d know they’d only be found once they’re able to reach that far. From where I stand, being able to harness nuclear energy would also be a pretty good criterion. Now—and this is the clever part—if you designed these things to react specifically to argon-37, they could only be discovered once that civilization managed to tap the power of the atom. This is all pure speculation, of course, but if that’s what they did, I’m impressed.