There are certain similarities between science fiction and medical thrillers (futuristic technology, nature subverted) so it's not really surprising that a master of the medical genre like Cook (Acceptable Risk) would try to combine the two. The story starts with a small college town and a flurry of unusual black rocks. Those who pick them up are stung and, after a short fever, come up with a curious list of aftereffects. They become extroverted, environmentally conscious, attached to dogs and telepathically connected. As a group of those who haven't been stung rush to find some sort of cure, the leader of the changed begins to take on alien form, while directing the construction of a space ship. By this point, though, Cook doesn't seem to know how to get out of his plot, except for an esoteric cure involving the common cold.