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Richard Jarrow was a mild and unassuming teacher who was sure that the government knew best, with its strong environmental controls on industry and its equally stringent control of education and the media. He knew that the countries of the former Eastern Block, who now claimed to have more freedom than the United States, as well as booming economies fueled by their exploitation of the resources of space, were only spreading ridiculous porpaganda, and they either would soon collapse, starved by their diminishing nautral resources and choked in their own pollution—or else they would attempt to steal the resources of the rest of the world, and have to be destroyed. Didn’t the government say that was so?
And then his world went to hell…
As nuclear war looms, a probe has discovered an Earthlike planet waiting with open biosphere; and the Americans launch a crash project to colonize Chiron. Science can’t yet transport living humans between stars, but it can send DNA codes to become children who will be raised by humanlike robots. Amazingly, it works. The colonists are everything their home-planet could hope for—except that they really mean it about all that liberty stuff. But now the Earthmen have had their war, survived, rebuilt—and sent ships to Chiron. They’re the government. They’ve come to help. But the colonials have such an attitude.
“That Planet Has No Right To Be There!”
Among the Saturnian moons, farsighted individuals, working without help or permission from any government, have established a colony. They call themselves the Kronians, after the Greek name for Saturn. Operating without the hidebound restrictions of bureaucratic Earth, the colony is a magnet, attracting the best and brightest of the home world, and has been making important new discoveries. But one of their claims—that they have found proof that the Solar System has undergone repeated cataclysms, and as recently as a few thousand years ago—flies in the face of the reigning dogma, and is under attack by the scientific establishment.
Then the planet Jupiter emits a white-hot protoplanet as large as the Earth, which is hurtling sunwards like a gigantic comet that will obliterate civilization….
In the early 21st century, the nations of the world have realigned themselves into new power blocs. The centers of new totalitarian empires are China and Japan, both bent on world domination. Unable to learn from the mistakes of the past they are bound to repeat them in a new war that will make all earlier ones seem tame. Nor can the United States and Europe—both of which have become police states in their own right as a result of unending conflict with totalitarians—permit either Japan or China to win an outright victory, because for both sides the ultimate goal is the annihilation of the oppressor races of the West.
But in this nightmare world without a future, there may yet be a way out, thanks to quantum mechanics, a secret mechanism that dwells in the heart of human DNA, and a handful of dedicated scientists…
A top-secret U.S. government program is initiated, involving a strange realm of physics uncovered following new insights…[more]