Marilee J. Layman
"Warning: Contains Explicit Science"
I like it.
"And some sex!"
There were two instances of sex sort of, not even explicit:
1. One of the astronomers' wife (who was an astronaut and is now working in their group) is dying. The cancer has metastasized pretty thoroughly. (She later plays a post-dead important role). She initiates sex with him, knowing that it's her last time.
The vocal part of the group didn't believe this. I thought it was realistic -- one last time, even though it takes all her energy.
2. The other primary astronomer is English, at least in his 60's, and separated from his wife (who has moved on). During the disaster, he and the fourth person in their basic group, a female astronomer just out of grad school, so probably late 20's, start sleeping together. Nobody complained about that -- stress and the possibility of death makes you do things you might not otherwise. But there's a sentence saying essentially that instead of her usual sweats, she meets him at the door in a merry widow because she knew that's what he liked.
I wondered where she got a merry widow in the middle of apocalypse, but I thought the impulse was kinda cute -- even though it's not what she'd normally wear, she wears it for him. The other folk thought it was too much sex in the middle of the apocalypse.
I quite liked Eater. In general I always like anything by Benford. Howeever I always end up slightly disappointed. It always seems like he's doing everything right to create the sort of novel I love reading, but never quite pulls it off quite as well as it seems to promise.
That still makes him one of my favourite writers.