Everyone on Earth for a million years or more had known that the death-stars were coming. One by one they would crash down terribly from the skies, falling without mercy for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years, bringing an endless winter of sorrows. Each of the peoples of Earth addressed its fate in its own fashion. The vegetals and the sapphire-eyed people knew that they would not survive, and they made their preparations accordingly. The mechanicals knew that they could survive if they cared to, but they did nto care to. The sea-lords understood their day was done and they accepted that. The hjjk-folk, who never yielded any advantage willingly, expected to come through the cataclysm unharmed, and set about making certain of that.
And the humans—the humans —from AT WINTER'S END
After 26 million years of vibrant civilization, the Great World ended when falling death-stars locked the Earth in ice. But one small band of People escaped to an underground cocoon where they, and their descendants, waited for 700,000 years. Now their long winter is over. The omens proclaim the time has come. Time to emerge, to inherit, to claim and conquer the Earth...
Master storyteller Robert Silverberg creates a breathtaking vision of the far, far future in an epic of rebirth and revelation, passion and despair, dread and awe—and the triumph of the human spirit.
For 47,000 generations, no one has felt the wind; the sky and moon are half-forgotten legends. The People have remained safe within their underground shelter, self-sufficient, sustained by their ancient myths and powerful prophecies. The time of ice will end, and then they will emerge to take their place in the new world.
Led by prophecy—that the People will prosper in Vengiboneeza, city of the sapphire-eyes—Koshmar's tiny tribe leaves the cocoon. Every step into the New Springtime brings fresh wonder—and feverish terror. The People discover night and day, cold rain and wild creatures that kill. The myths have become real.
And as their legends are proven, the laws that have guided the People for generations become meaningless. Chieftan Koshmar must confront challenges beyond the scope of the ancient rules, while her lover, the priestess Torlyri, must seek new rituals—and even new gods. The People are torn by strange, nameless passions; warriors' souls seethe with rebellious yearnings. Only Hresh, a psychic child whose curiousity would have earned his death in the cocoon, can hope to bridge the chasm between the old and the new.
In the fabled city of Vengiboneeza the tribe finds more mystery and turmoil. They are primitives amid the ruins of an interstellar civilization, amid machines that can devour Time or unleash the obscene, seductive power of collapsed suns. Beneath the enigmatic mocking of immortal talking icons, Koshmar and Torlyri fight to hold the People—and their own love—together, and fulfill the prophecy of the gods, while Hresh struggles to find the keys to his people's legacy and destiny. The New Springtime is beginning, but time is short.
Because other beings—some not human—are coming forth from the ice. Other tribes. With other gods. And other prophecies...
"Silverberg is out best." —Fantasy & Science Fiction
"One of the finest writers ever to work in science fiction." —Philadelphia Inquirer
"No matter if Silverberg is dealing with material that is practically straight fiction, or going way into the future... his is the hand of a master of his craft and imagination." —Los Angeles Times
"He is a master of drawing the reader into times and places... with style, wit and imagination." —Library Journal
"The John Updike of science fiction." —New York Times Book Review
"AT WINTER'S END is science fiction with real scope and power... with real characters and zesty imagination, it never loses a close human focus." —Gregory Benford, author of Timescape and Great Sky River