Book: Marooned in Realtime

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Marooned in Realtime

Author: Vernor Vinge
Publisher: Tor Books

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.


Barnes and Noble

Marooned in Realtime, Vernor Vinge’s Hugo Award–nominated sequel to his 1984 classic The Peace War, is equal parts murder mystery and hard science fiction adventure that takes place 50 million years in the future as the last remnants of human civilization battle extinction—and each other.

Like The Peace War, the major plotlines of Marooned in Realtime revolve around bobbles—impenetrable force fields that can separate small areas of space from the normal universe. Fifty million years after the events in The Peace War, small groups of humans have survived by bobbling themselves in stasis for hundreds of thousands of years at a time. With less than 300 humans left alive and invaluable high-tech devices inevitably breaking down, a long-term plan must be implemented to ensure humankind’s survival. Those who remain alive, however, are bitterly divided. When one of the leading planners, Marta Korolev, is cruelly murdered (she is left alone in realtime while everyone else spends centuries in stasis), a former police officer must somehow figure out who the culprit is before the human race is wiped out forever.

Fans of Vinge’s later works—like the Hugo Award–winning novels A Fire upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky—who have yet to read Marooned in Realtime may be surprised that numerous publications have called the 1986 sequel to The Peace War his best work. Compelling, thought provoking, and visually breathtaking, this masterwork of imagination is a must-read for all who call themselves fans of science fiction. —Paul Goat Allen

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