City at the End of Time

City at the End of Time

Greg Bear

Language: English

Publisher: Del Rey

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Words: 163884
Pages: 680

Description:

Multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winning author, Greg Bear is one of science fiction’s most accomplished writers. Bold scientific speculation, riveting plots, and a fierce humanism reflected in characters who dare to dream of better worlds distinguish his work. Now Bear has written a mind-bendingly epic novel that may well be his masterpiece. Do you dream of a city at the end of time? In a time like the present, in a world that may or may not be our own, three young people–Ginny, Jack, and Daniel–dream of a doomed, decadent city of the distant future: the Kalpa. Ginny’s and Jack’s dreams overtake them without warning, leaving their bodies behind while carrying their consciousnesses forward, into the minds of two inhabitants of the Kalpa–a would-be warrior, Jebrassy, and an inquisitive explorer, Tiadba–who have been genetically retro-engineered to possess qualities of ancient humanity. As for Daniel: He dreams of an empty darkness–all that his future holds. But more than dreams link Ginny, Jack, and Daniel. They are fate-shifters, born with the ability to skip like stones across the surface of the fifth dimension, inhabiting alternate versions of themselves. And each guards an object whose origin and purpose are unknown: gnarled, stony artifacts called sum-runners that persist unchanged through all versions of time. Hunted by others with similar powers who seek the sum-runners on behalf of a terrifying, goddess-like entity known as the Chalk Princess, Ginny, Jack, and Daniel are drawn, despite themselves, into an all but hopeless mission to rescue the future–and complete the greatest achievement in human history. *From the Hardcover edition.* ### From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. In his triumphant return to large-scale SF, Nebula and Hugo–winner Bear (*Quantico*) links three young drifters in present-day Seattle with an unimaginably distant future. When the drifters answer an odd newspaper advertisement, they soon find themselves caught up in a war between mysterious and powerful forces. Two not-quite-humans, creations of a million-year experiment, have discovered that their ancient fortress/city, perhaps the last refuge of intelligence in a dying universe, is about to fall before the onslaught of chaos. They have been chosen by beings evolved far beyond mere matter to undertake a dangerous mission to preserve the universe's last vestiges of consciousness. Somehow the two groups engage in telepathic communication despite the eons that separate them. Something of an homage to William Hope Hodgson's classic *The Night Land*, this complex, difficult and beautifully written tale will appeal to sophisticated readers who prefer thorny conundrums to fast-paced action. *(Aug.)* Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. ### From Booklist In a post-human future, one city, guarded by reality generators and surrounded by the terrible maelstrom of Chaos, is the sole bastion of order. In our time, three people who can alter the course of fate, a murky past, and the dreams of a decaying city at the end of time are brought together by a newspaper ad and into the hands of collectors of their kind. Back in the future, the strange characters include keepers and the Librarian, who seek to protect history, and others who welcome Chaos. As the lines of fate and possibility collapse toward inevitability, the three fateshifters resort to the tenuous protection of a Seattle warehouse full of books as a storm that threatens to destroy everything approaches. If the trio survives and holds onto memory through the disaster, memory will begin again, the long decay of reality will end, and mysteries will be solved in the eye of the storm. Fascinating. --Regina Schroeder