copyright 1985; Simon and Schuster publishers, New York; hardbound with black boards and bold gilt lettering on spine; very good conditon with unmarked, clean pages; dust jacket very good.
Contact is a 1985 science fiction novel by American scientist Carl Sagan. It deals with the theme of contact between humanity and a more technologically advanced, extraterrestrial life form. It ranked No. 7 on the 1985 U.S. bestseller list. The novel originated as a screenplay by Sagan and Ann Druyan (whom he later married) in 1979; when development of the film stalled, Sagan decided to convert the stalled film into a novel. The film concept was subsequently revived and eventually released in 1997 as the film Contact starring Jodie Foster.
As a child, Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway displays a strong aptitude for science and mathematics. Dissatisfied with a school lesson, she goes to the library to convince herself that π is irrational. In sixth grade her father and role-model Theodore ("Ted") dies. A man named John Staughton becomes her stepfather and does not show as much support for her interests. Ellie refuses to accept him as a family member and concludes that her mother only remarried out of weakness.
After graduating from Harvard University, Ellie receives a doctorate from Caltech supervised by David Drumlin, a well known radio astronomer. She eventually becomes the director of "Project Argus", a radiotelescope array in New Mexico dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). This puts her at odds with most of the scientific community, including Drumlin, who tries to have the funding to SETI cut off. To his surprise, the project discovers a signal containing a series of prime numbers coming from the Vega system 26 light years away. Further analysis reveals information in the polarization modulation of the signal. This message is a retransmission of Adolf Hitler's opening speech at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin; the first television signal powerful enough to escape Earth's ionosphere.
The President of the United States meets with Ellie to discuss the implications of the first confirmed communication from extraterrestrial beings...