Anvil of Stars Author:Greg Bear In a breathtaking adventure of war and vengeance, multiple Nebula and Hugo award-winner Greg Bear travels beyond the apocalyptic edges of space and science, to a terrifying conflict in the galactic night, and a harrowing quest for justice that begins after the murder of planet Earth. — In "The Forge of God," alien probes devastate and vaporize ou... more »r world, but a handful of refugees are rescued by the Benefactors' robots programmed to seek the despots who launched the Planet Killers. And 84 teenage volunteers join the search across infinity, a one-way mission aboard a wondrous starship formed from the atoms of Earth's corpse.
Not the Ship of the Law hunts at near-light speed while the Lost Boys, Wendys, and robot Moms drill, play, love in self-invented society of immortal children frozen between innocence and destiny, endlessly training for "the Job," Abruptly, sensors find a "supect": a three-star system, a dozen planets, trillions of inhabitants and evidence of Killer technology.
Suddenly, the children, particularly Martin, their chosen Pan, must face the meaning of their mission. They are judge, jury, death squad. Should they pass sentence? Should they attack? Long investigation would leave the ship vulnerable to attack - but ignorance could lead to tragedy...
What if the natives are also victims recovering from an ancient Killer assault? Or naive colonists with no connection to the horror? Or pacifist descendants of the Killers, long atoning for a fanatic regime overthrown millennia before?
But what if these are the Killers? Can one ship destroy a dozen armed worlds? Punish an empire that seems able to hide planets, control the fabric of matter-antimatter, turn stars into bombs and space itself into a trap? Can the children recognize or counter such weapons?
Can even the Moms be trusted? Are they alien machines drafting young exiles to some eternal ruse? Are the children avengers-or savages waving sticks at a modern army? Is the ship one of many doomed decoys deployed in an inhuman game? Is the Job a cruel deceit?
It's too late to turn back - centuries too late. Martin has only intuition to guide him. If he's rash, the children may commit stellar atrocity more genocidal than the murder of Earth. If he hesitates, the Killers may destroy all he loves - and humanity's last hope for survival.« less