I love strange theories that scientists put forth to describe something that is possible even though there may not be any direct scientific evidence to prove it. Von Neumann Machines are such a theory. While most think that contact from the stars will come in the form of a booming voice from the sky, some scientists have theorized that a more likely outcome might be the discovery of machines doing the grunt work of mining and exploring a system, much like our launching of space probes to explore our own Solar System. These machines, whose primary purpose is to find and ensure that appropriate resources are present before the beings that created these machines move in, are nothing but theory, but theory sometimes makes for a great foundation for fiction.

So when I found a hardcover edition of John Ringo‘s and Travis S. Taylor‘s Von Neumann’s War for sale on Ebay, again I just couldn’t resist. Not only is the book rare…well, it’s rare and that’s enough to make me jump on this deal.

The story deals with Von Neumann Machines that invade the Solar System and convert are precious metals into large structures, threatening to undue the foundation of our society.