By Carolyn Ives Gilman
First Contact with an alien civilization never does run smooth. In Dark Orbit exoethnologist Sara Callicut joins a team of scientists on a mission to a newly discovered, possibly habitable planet dubbed Iris, where things go wonky in a terrible hurry.
Made of crystal and inhabited by a mysterious tribe of blind people, Iris also has other curious properties arising from its being located where various dimensions of the universe happen to be folded close together. This means that quantum effects can be experienced in the macro world, with one of the more remarkable results being a breakdown between consciousness and external reality.
When this dark pocket of the universe enters an origami phase people start disappearing and reappearing at an alarming rate, and soon everyone is at risk of dimensional collapse. Gilman manages to tie it all together in a satisfying way though, thanks mainly to a thrilling plot structured around the conflict between science and more intuitional ways of thinking.