Part One of a two-part story concluding in Crucible of Time.
The starstream is beautiful. But beauty turns deadly when an ancient AI bent on destruction uses it to travel uptime, to our near-future.
The Mindaru are dead. Or so exiled-Earthman John Bandicut and his alien companions believe, when they return to Shipworld after saving the Orion Nebula and countless inhabited worlds. But now another horde from this ancient and malicious AI colony is swarming toward the present from its birthplace deep in the past. Their opening: a temporal disturbance in the starstream, a hyperspatial thoroughfare used by myriad civilizations. The disturbance emanates from the planetary defenses of nearby Karellia, whose people know nothing of the starstream or the galaxy-threatening Mindaru.
Only Bandicut and his friends have the knowledge and experience to act. But several of Bandicut’s company have gone missing. Bandicut and Li-Jared must team with the pandimensional Ruall and her gokat—the oddest aliens Bandicut has met since the shadow-people—and journey to Karellia to find a way to cut off the timestream.
Separated from the others, Ik meets another human of Earth—a former lover of Bandicut’s!—and embarks with her on a perilous mission far back into deep time, seeking a way to stop the Mindaru at their source. They must thread a maze of impossible decisions. Can they tap the wisdom of the alien yaantel, known to the humans as the translator, to help them through?
The Chaos Chronicles returns at last in The Reefs of Time, part one of a heartstopping, two-part adventure. Concluded in Crucible of Time—coming in September from Nebula-nominated Jeffrey A. Carver!