I read this book back around 2002-2004 The protagonist is given the key to perpetual energy by a mysterious alien, all is well until he finds out the energy is actually slowing the earth's rotation.

There might even be a second book in the series but it's been forever, and I can't recall.

I've posed this question to the folks over at borderland books as well with no luck, hope you can help!


2 Answers 2


I think that is Eric Nylund's Signal to Noise. It's not actually free energy, but teleportation, which can be used to provide energy. The second book, A Signal Shattered, deals with the aftermath.

Jack Potter puts computer cryptography to work for the highest bidder: sometimes for private corporations, sometimes for the government. Sometimes the work is legal; if not, Jack simply raises his price. But one day, Jack discovers something cloaked in the hiss of background radiation streaming past the Earth from deep space: a message from an alien civilization. One that's eager to do business with humanity -- and its representative.

Before he knows it, Jack has entered into a partnership that will open a Pandora's Box of potential profit and loss. The governments, the multinationals, and mysterious players more powerful still, all want a piece of the action -- and they're willing to kill, even wage war, to get it. Now Jack is entangled shifting web of deceit and intrigue in which no one, not even his closest friends, can be trusted. For Earth's cloak-and-dagger business practices are writ large in the heavens...and hostile takeovers are just as common across light years as they are across boardroom tables.

  • Sean you're offically my hero! It was indeed signal to noise and your points make this worth a re-read for me.
    – Zack
    Mar 2, 2015 at 21:25

This may be a long shot, but how about Asimov's The Gods Themselves?

In it, entities from another universe communicate, giving instructions on how to build the "electron pump", which transfers matter from our universe to the parallel one. This yields an unlimited source of energy. However, this increases the strong nuclear force in the sun, threatening a supernova.

There are no sequels, but the book itself consists of three parts: one from the earth's point of view, one from the other universe's point of view, and one one again from our point of view, where a solution is found.

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