Marooned in Realtime

Marooned in Realtime

Paperback(First Edition)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765308849
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 10/01/2004
Series: Peace War Series , #2
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 517,412
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Vernor Vinge has won five Hugo Awards, two of them in the Zones of Thought series: A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. Known for his rigorous hard-science approach to his science fiction, he became an iconic figure among cybernetic scientists with the publication in 1981 of his novella "True Names," which is considered a seminal, visionary work of Internet fiction. His many books also include Marooned in Realtime, Rainbows End and The Peace War.

Read an Excerpt

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.

Customer Reviews

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Marooned in Realtime 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
jburke More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It was highly readable and the philosophical problems that are explored are very compelling. Very good.
momander More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite sci-fi book. It is an exercise in what good sci-fi does: change one single thing, and play out how that changes the lives of individuals and society at large. The technology to travel in time, but only in one direction, changes everything in very unexpected (but logical) ways. Crime becomes very different, wars are fought by societies across the gulfs of time. Two thumbs up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The peace wars was a little dull in places. But this book was much more interesting in the fairly extensive exploration of the possibilities of two technologies introduced in the first book. Having started on Vinge with "A Fire Upon the Deep", I have to say that this earlier work doesn't compare with the writing in his later work. Still a decent read, however.
cissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a sucker for a good sf murder mystery, and this was one- right up there with the "Retrieval Artist" novels, and that's saying a lot.I know I read the earlier book "Peace War"- many, many years ago; I guess there's a compilation book with that, and this... and SOME but not all of them also have a short story. I would like to get that, if i knew i'd be getting one with the story as well as the 2 novels.
bradsucks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book, loved all the far-future implications of bobbles. The plot is a high-tech mystery/adventure set fifty million years in the future and Vinge keeps you on your toes.
clong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky, so I was eager to pick up some of his earlier work. I found this book to be a little bit of a disappointment. Marooned in Realtime certainly starts with a a great concept: a group of people pop out of stasis fields to discover that humanity has vanished from the earth pretty much without a trace. This leaves them in a bit of a predicament. They continue to use these stasis bubbles to make discreet jumps forward in time, but a clever killer manages to trap Marta, one of their leaders, outside the bubble, leaving her to live and ultimately die in solitude while every other surviving human lives on into the future inside the stasis field. The next time the group pops out into "realtime," they discover what has happened and set Brierson, a surviving lawman, to figure out what happened. I'd describe the book as a mystery that is more effective as science fiction than as a mystery. The only character I developed much empathy for was Marta, who had forty years of solitude to figure out who had killed her, and to leave clues for those who would come later to investigate, knowing that the killer would be there to try to prevent any message from getting through. Marooned in Realtime is entertaining and suspenseful, but the ultimate resolution (especially the message from Brierson's long dead wife) left me only partially satisfied.
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