Timelike Infinity: the strange region at the end of time where the Xeelee, owners of the universe, are waiting... The second novel in Stephen Baxter's Xeelee sequence.
First there were good times: humankind reached glorious heights, even immortality. Then there were bad times: Earth was occupied by the faceless, brutal Qax. Immortality drugs were confiscated, the human spirit crushed. Earth became a vast factory for alient foodstuffs.
Into this new dark age appears the end of a tunnel through time. Made from exotic matter, it is humanity's greatest engineering project in the pre-Qax era, where the other end of the tunnel remains anchored near Jupiter. When a small group of humans in a makeshift craft outwit the Qax to escape to the past through the tunnel, it is not to warn the people of Earth against the Qax, who are sure to follow them. For these men and women from the future are themselves dangerous fanatics in pursuit of their own bizarre quantum grail.
Michael Poole, architect of the tunnel, must boldly confront the consequences of his genius.
`The most important living science-fiction writer in the country'
`The best SF writer in Britain'
Praise for The Xeelee Sequence:
`Polishes its ideas with such realistic brilliance you can see a whole civilization in it'
`Fast paced, strong on suspense, efficiently written, and has moral weight, but it is in the creation of a genuinely strange and believable new universe that Baxter excels... rigorous, vigorous SF at its enjoyable best'
`Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein succeeded in doing it, but very few others. Now Stephen Baxter joins their exclusive ranks - writing science fiction in which the science is right, the author knowledgeable, and the extrapolations a sheer pleasure to read, admire, enjoy'
`Almost perfect... RAFT is very, very hard SF and it's great fun'