The Rising

The Rising by Heather Graham

For Tom Doherty and Bob Gleason Vision doesn’t age


ALL BOOKS ARE A team effort and we’re incredibly grateful for the team behind this one. The list starts with Tom Doherty, as great a publisher as he is a friend, who gave birth to The Rising when he took us to lunch and said, “The two of you should do a book together.” Bob Gleason, the best editor in the business, took things from there on a team led by Linda Quinton, Phyllis Azar, Patty Garcia, Elayne Becker, Ryan Meese, Lucy Childs, Aaron Priest, and Natalia Aponte whose input was crucial in helping this book reach its full potential.

We are especially indebted, as well, to Jeslyn Farrow Russo for sharing her remarkable grasp of the Bay Area and Northern California, including St. Ignatius Prep where her son Xavier starred on the same football team as our book’s hero, Alex. Jeremy Wall provided crucial input on the technical side of things, a big shout-out to Dennis Pozzessere for his knowledge of all things Alcatraz, and our deepest thanks to everyone at NASA for all their encouragement and support, both technical and otherwise.

No man or woman is an island and no writer is either, even when there are two of us. And we also want to thank all those from the production and sales side of things who believed in this project from the very beginning.

As for us, we now turn our attention to the next book in the series (tentatively titled Blood Moon), but for now there’s this one to enjoy. So let’s turn the page and begin.

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.



YOU DON’T KNOW WHO I am, and you don’t need to. This isn’t my story.

It’s Alex’s.

I can’t explain all of it; it’s better if I just tell it the way it happened and let you make up your own mind. I’m writing this down and I don’t believe all of it myself. Like it’s all some crazy dream or maybe somebody slipped something into my soda and I imagined the whole thing.

I never wanted to become a hero and don’t consider myself one now. I look back on all of this a lot, looking for something I could’ve done differently, but there’s nothing. My decisions weren’t really conscious ones; I did what I had to do in each respective moment and regret none of those decisions. So if I had it to do all over again, would I?

The answer is simple: I didn’t have a choice then, any more than I’ve got one now. None of us does.

Know what, though? When I look back and think about all I left behind, everything, really, I still know I could never have left Alex alone. He needed me, and if you believe in the cosmic nature of fate, maybe that’s what had brought us together in the first place.

I don’t regret any of it. Some things are bigger than you, me, and the whole world. And this was about the whole world. Literally, as crazy as that sounds.

I want to lay it all out for you, so you’ll understand even if you don’t totally believe it. I don’t blame you, either. Maybe I’m really writing this for myself, to help me understand. Sure, I was there to watch it all unfold, but looking back, I’ve started to doubt my own thoughts and memories. So I need to get this all down to make sure I don’t lose it, because this isn’t just a story.

It’s a warning.

There’s a reason why people once thought the world was flat or ended at the ocean. It made it easier to convince ourselves we were in control of our own planet and destiny, neither of which is even close to the truth. That’s what I learned from Alex and what I need to tell you, what you need to hear. Sure, we know the Earth isn’t flat now and stretches well beyond the oceans. But the truth I’ve learned is born out of a new reality that’s just as extreme and unimaginable.

We want to think this is our world.

It’s not.

We want to think we’re safe.

We’re not.

Like I said before, though, this isn’t my story. It belongs to Alex. If there’s any hope for us left, and I mean all of us, amid the terrible truths I’ve come to know, amid the rising of a dark, new world around us, it rides with him. This is his story.

Because he’s the survivor.



Northern California, eighteen years ago

Only those who risk going too far

can possibly find out how far one can go.


THOMAS DONATI CHASED HIS NASA supervisor down the hall of the secret underground level, cutting him off just before he pressed the “up” arrow for the elevator. “You need to take a look at these figures.”

“I have,” Orson Wilder told him.

Donati reached out and flipped around the pages Wilder was still holding. “Right side up this time.”

Wilder sneered, then nodded grudgingly as he reached around Donati and pressed the “up” arrow once and then a second time when it failed to light. “What am I looking for?”



“Of a potential cosmic convergence of unprecedented proportions. Here, let me show you.…”

The elevator door slid open and Donati followed Wilder into the cab. “This earthquake in Tibet, a rogue wave wiping out an entire island in the South China Sea, the inexplicable malfunction of our interstellar monitors located in the northeast Pacific Ocean.”

Heather Graham's Books