In this taut thriller, a Hugo finalist for Best Novel, nobody knows why there are only three hundred humans left alive on the Earth fifty million years from now. Opinion is fiercely divided on whether to settle in and plant the seed of mankind anew, or to continue using high-energy stasis fields, or "bobbles," in venturing into the future. When somebody is murdered, it's obvious someone has a secret he or she is willing to kill to preserve.The murder intensifies the rift between the two factions, threatening the survival of the human race. It's up to 21st century detective Wil Brierson, the only cop left in the world, to find the culprit, a diabolical fiend whose lust for power could cause the utter extinction of man.
Filled with excitement and adventure, Vinge's tense SF puzzler will satisfy readers with its sense of wonder and engaging characters, one of whom is a murderer with a unique modus operandi.
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Headline: Everyone agreed that the show had been impressive.
The rescue blasting had been about a hundred times as energetic as the ninteenth-century Krakatoa blow-off. Billions of tonnes of ash and rock were pumped into the stratosphere.
When it came down dry, it was like gray-brown snow, piling obscene drifts on houses, trees and the bodies of small animals. Even the sea had a layer of scum on it.
At the center of this vast lake sat a perfect sphere, the bobble. Glowing orange-red peeked through netted cracks in the scab. Of course, nothing marred its surface. A typical bobble, in an untypical place.
In a few months, the molten lake would freeze over, and an unprotected man could walk right to the side of the Peacer bobble. For a few years there would be brilliant sunsets and unusually cool weather. In a century or two, nature would have forgotten this affront, and the Peacer bobble would reflect forest green.
Yet it would be unknown thousands of years before the bobble burst, and the men and women within could join the colony.
As usual, the Korolevs had a plan.