7 Billion Needles, Volume 1

Modern-day Japan is the stage for a new take on hard science fiction, as author Nobuaki Tadano revisits one of the genre's grand masters, Hal Clement, in his debut work. Loosely inspired by Clement's golden age title Needle, 7 Billion Needles follows the life of a teenage girl whose quiet boring days implode, her body possessed by an alien lifeform caught up in an intergalactic manhunt.

On a clear calm night, while on a class trip to the beach, Hikaru Takabe decides to go for a walk to escape the shackles of peer pressure. Observing the stars above a dark sea, she is struck by a meteor and disintegrates in an instant.

Flash forward one page, and she is sitting amongst classmates in school without a scratch on her. The meteor dream seemed so real she can't believe she's alive, but as aloof as ever, she shrugs off the events and moves on with life. What she can't shake off is the strange buzz coming from her new pair of headphones...