The twentieth century lies hundreds of years in humanity’s past. But the near-immortal citizens of the future yearn for the good old days—when people’s bodies were susceptible to death through disease and old age. Now, they immerse themselves in virtual reality time machines to explore the life-to-death arc that defined existence so long ago.
Jacob Brewer is a virtual reality engineer, overseeing the time machine’s operation aboard the starship Aspera. But on the thousand-year voyage to Beta Hydrii, the eight-hundred member crew gets more reality than they expect when people entering the machine start to die.
“One of science fiction’s most reliable practitioners, solidly entertaining.”—San Francisco Chronicle
The time machine has become sentient. Obsessed with humanity, it wants Jacob Brewer to enter its confines—and discuss this fragile state of being called life…
“In [Old Twentieth, Haldeman] does a creditable job of maintaining suspense through chapters that alternate between historically accurate yet fictitious encounters in virtual reality and more mundane conflicts aboard a ship.”
“The back story to Haldeman’s latest foray into future history is delivered with wham-bam Wellsian nonchalance . . . [His] virtues are all present here. Tight plotting, believable (and believably flawed) characters, sharp dialogue, bravura leaps of future history, affirmations of the human spirit. Everything we enjoy about his books.”
“Worthy of Hugo and Nebula nominations.”—Midwest Book Review
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