Marooned in Realtime (Peace War)
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Multiple Hugo Award winner Vernor Vinge takes readers on a fifty-million-year trip to a future where humanity's fate will be decided in a dangerous game of high-tech survival.
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.
she’s faking it. I think she killed Marta for some crazy personal reason, and terribly regrets the necessity. But now that it’s done, she’s going to use it to destroy all opposition to the great Korolev plan.” “Um.” He, W. W. Brierson, might be the cause of Marta’s death. Suppose Yelén conceived that she was losing her love to another. For some disturbed souls, such a loss was logically equivalent to the death of the beloved. They could murder—and then honestly blame the loss on others. . . .
our whole colony, of the entire human race, in doing so.” Yelén Korolev looked calm, but Wil knew her well enough to recognize the signs of an impending explosion: there were rosy patches on her cheeks, yet her features were otherwise even paler than usual. She ran a hand through her blond hair. “Mr. Fraley, I really do know the history of your era. Remember that almost all of us—no matter what our present age and experience—have our childhoods within a couple hundred years of one another. The
when I started Marta’s giveaway?” she continued. “They told me how they had their disagreements, but that the future of the race was of supreme importance; their experts had gotten together, come up with a ‘Unity Plan.’ It specified production goals, resource allocation, just what every damn person was going to do for the next ten years. They expected me to jam this piece of wisdom down everyone’s throat. . . . Idiots. I have software that’s spent decades crunching on these problems, and I can’t
necessities like seed and wood, later to import some friends: she hiked three hundred kilometers north, to a large lake. There were fishermonkeys on that lake. She understood their matriarchal scheme now. It wasn’t hard to find displaced trios wandering the shores, looking for something bigger than they that walked on two legs. The fishers loved the ringlake. By year twelve, there were so many that some left every year down the river. From her cabin high on the ringwall she watched them by the
low-tech travelers. “Now, there were a few who were well equipped. Some of these have worked to rescue the stranded, to bring us all together where we can freely decide humanity’s new course. My family, Juan Chanson, and others did what we could—but it was the Korolevs who had the resources to bring this off. Marta Korolev is here tonight.” He waved generously in her direction. “I think Marta and Yelén deserve a big hand.” There was polite applause. He patted the globe again. “Don’t worry. I’m