The Tarsalans came to Earth hoping to settle on the planet alongside a sympathetic human race. But after years of delicate negotiations, their patience reaches the breaking point and they decide to make their case for immigration terrifyingly clear—by enveloping the planet in a green sphere which blocks out all sunlight.

Without energy from the sun, the Earth—and every living thing on it—is doomed.

Soon, civilization breaks down as the instinct for individual survival shreds humanity’s common bonds. It appears mankind may destroy itself even before the Phytosphere does.

The only hope against catastrophe lies in the troubled connection between two brothers—one stranded at a lunar base on the moon, the other trapped on the dying Earth…


“Mackay manages to breathe life into the tired alien-invasion genre, deftly juggling hard sci-fi and a bleak tale of postapocalyptic survival. Mackay churns up enough high-tech intrigue and old-fashioned suspense to make a fresh read.”

Publishers Weekly

“A scary look at a seemingly possible future. A book that both hardcore science-fiction readers and others will equally enjoy.”

RT Book Reviews

“This hardhitting apocalyptic thriller has a strong emotional core. The characters are believable and sympathetic, and while the humans are easy to root for, the Tarsalans aren’t so easy to hate. The science is lucid and delivered with finesse, yet Mackay never forgets that his story is ultimately about what makes us human.”


“Mackay continues to astound in his writing […] Mackay’s writing is meticulous, never wasting words. If you have not read Scott Mackay, I suggest you do so as fast as you can. His stories are superb. The only other 21st century science fiction writing I have enjoyed reading this much is Orson Scott Card.”

Grasping for the Wind

“Mackay has created a twist on the typical alien invasion. This book is an exhilarating read and was addictive right from the start. You just can’t put this book down. Scott Mackay delivers one suspenseful impact after the next, and this is what keeps the pages turning as you sit on the edge of your seat throughout the book. […] it illustrated the depravity and degradation of man under extremely harsh circumstances and it does this extremely well. We also get a healthy dose of Science Fiction and that’s a good thing. I highly recommend this book.”

Ian Hoar (blog)

Awards & Accolades


American Library Association’s Reading List Awards: “Ten Best SF Novels of 2007”