Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

Marooned in Realtime

Peace War (Volume 2)

Vernor Vinge

Tor Books


Headline: Everyone agreed that the show had been impressive.

The rescue blasting had been about a hundred times as energetic as the ninteenth-century Krakatoa blow-off. Billions of tonnes of ash and rock were pumped into the stratosphere.
When it came down dry, it was like gray-brown snow, piling obscene drifts on houses, trees and the bodies of small animals. Even the sea had a layer of scum on it.

At the center of this vast lake sat a perfect sphere, the bobble. Glowing orange-red peeked through netted cracks in the scab. Of course, nothing marred its surface. A typical bobble, in an untypical place.

In a few months, the molten lake would freeze over, and an unprotected man could walk right to the side of the Peacer bobble. For a few years there would be brilliant sunsets and unusually cool weather. In a century or two, nature would have forgotten this affront, and the Peacer bobble would reflect forest green.

Yet it would be unknown thousands of years before the bobble burst, and the men and women within could join the colony.

As usual, the Korolevs had a plan.