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The World at the End of Time


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Galactic war waged among the star-dweller Wan-To and his various sibling/selves disrupts 12 stars, one of which nourishes the nascent colony world Newmanhome, and sends that cluster accelerating away from the rest of the universe at a speed approaching that of light. Relativistic time compression keeps the colony's group of suns young even after the heat death of the rest of the universe. A war involving the disruptions of the stars is chronicled, while alternating chapters depict the human inhabitants of Newmanhome and their desperate bids for survival. Neither sequence produces any particularly ambitious characters or societies, and while the writing is as fluid as can be expected of award-winner Pohl ( The Heechee Saga ), his failure to orchestrate a confrontation between the humans and Wan-To will dismay fans. (June)

As vast intelligences play deadly power games using stars for pawns, the fledgling colonists on the planet Home fight to maintain their existence while ``unknown forces'' wreak havoc with the laws of physics and the universe. Pohl's ( Homegoing, LJ 3/15/89) sparkling wit attaches itself to macro- and microcosmic themes in a novel which pits a luckless human hero against a childlike being of inordinate power and extraordinary paranoia. Grand in scope, poignant in delivery; highly recommended.

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