Results of the John W. Campbell Award in the year 2002.
Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past-and soon to be haunted by the future.
In early twenty-first-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter. And the inscription chiseled into it commemorates a military victory—sixteen years in the future.
Shortly afterwards, another, larger pillar arrives in the center of Bangkok-obliterating the city and killing thousands. Over the next several years, human society is transformed by these mysterious arrivals from, seemingly, our own near future. Who is the warlord “Kuin” whose victories they note?
Scott wants only to rebuild his life. But some strange loop of causality keeps drawing him in, to the central mystery and a final battle with the future.
Jack Williamson, the dean of American science fiction writers, has written some of the most imaginative and exciting speculative fiction published during the nine decades of his extraordinary career. With Terraforming Earth, this Grand Master of the field tackles nothing less than the fate of the earth after a catastrophic impact by a huge meteor.
Unlike the scores of novels, films, and television miniseries that dwell on how humanity might deal with such an event, this novel takes us past the terrible collision and far into the future, with a group of people who escape the debacle to establish a safe harbor on Earth’s Moon.
From Tycho Base they can monitor conditions on the devastated earth. Years pass, then centuries, and then millenia, as they, their cloned children, and their children’s children through successive generations undertake the enormous challenge of restoring life to a barren planet.
Salvation or Annihilation?
A strange artifact has been discovered on a distant planet, an artifact that may be the key to humanity’s salvation. For we at war with the Fallers, an alien race bent on nothing short of genocide, and this is a war we are losing. The artifact is not only a powerful weapon, but possibly the rosetta stone to a lost superscience…a superscience that the Fallers may have already decoded. Or it may be a doomsday machine that could destroy the very fabric of space.