Results of the John W. Campbell Award in the year 1976.
It was a top secret government project, its funds coming quietly from the Bureau of Standards, its orders directly from the President. The project’s goal was to survey the future.
The survey would be made in person, by use of the newly-developed Time Displacement Vehicle. Three specially trained men would be sent to the year 2000, and they would return with invaluable data about the problems to be faced by the government in decades to come.
It seemed almost routine at first. But when the survey team reached their target they found a savage land…an awesome world they may have made, and they had to wonder if any would return to tell about it.
In a not-too-distant future, the assassination of an all-powerful New York City Mayor has plunged the five boroughs back into a dangerous cesspool of crime, drugs, and prostitution. Professional prognosticator Lew Nichols joins the campaign team of a fast-rising politico running for the city’s top office, and is introduced to a man who privately admits to being able to view glimpses of the future. Lew becomes obsessed with capturing the man’s gift and putting it to use for his candidate, but struggles to accept the strict terms he arranges with his mentor…and the unforgiving predetermination of the future.
Fleeing Elizabeth Lindstrom’s anger at the death of her son, Vance Garamond, a flickerwing commander, leaves the solar system far behind. Pursued by Earth’s space fleet, Garamond finds a vast, alien-built spherical structure which might just change the destiny of the human race.