Space is a book by Stephen Baxter, the second in his 'Manifold' series. It deals with the Fermi Paradox, and the logical consequences that stem from this. Once this 'paradox' confirmed Reid Malefants opinion that humanity was alone in the universe. The discovery of evidence of extraterrestrial in the Solar System leads to the question;
'What is the equilibrium position for life in the galaxy? If a galaxy wide civilisation is possible, it would have happened, if so what has killed it?'
When contact is made with the Gaijin, and they arrive in their silver flower ships not to save mankind, but to trawl through our historical archives; more questions are raised than answered.
It is the story of mankinds awakening to fact that the universe is in fact a very harsh place indeed. All life in the galaxy will ultimately suffer the same fate, and will go own doing so unless it can raise itself to a level where space can no longer harm it, before being knocked back down the evolutionalary ladder; as has happened in-numerable times before....