The first aliens to contact Earth, mysterious beings called the Travellers, bring the gift of immortality to those humans who choose to accept it--and the price it exacts. While most people leap at the chance to live forever, even at the cost of their humanity, a few hold on to their mortality and find themselves the inheritors of a strangely transformed future. This latest novel by the author of A Bridge of Years (LJ 8/91) combines expert storytelling with a thoughtful exploration of the bond between mortality and the human condition. A good choice for most libraries.
This novel is an extremely accomplished handling of the theme of human immortality. Offered by aliens, the gift of eternal life is accepted by most of humanity. An Oregon physician, Matt Wheeler, refuses it, and then has to contend with alienation, so to speak, from the immortals (including friends, neighbors, and children) as well as with the fanatics who see the whole affair as an incursion that ought to be resisted. This highly character-oriented novel, which in this respect recalls especially the work of Kate Wilhelm and Connie Willis, should appeal strongly to public library sf patrons.