The Last Legends of Earth A. A. Attanasio

Review by Bill Johnston

The Last Legends of Earth is a seven thousand year story of a battle between one Rimstalker and the zotl, with humanity caught in the middle. Rimstalkers are a minor race from the second book who didn't care one way or another about humanity. The Rimstalker creates a system of two stars with about fifteen worlds which she stocks with the re-embodied ghosts of long dead humanity. The worlds are covered with “lynks”, which are portals between the worlds that usually send things to the same time they left from. Stepping sideways inside a lynk will put you in the overworld where movement to any lynk at any time in history is possible, but control over this travel is almost non-existent.

There are a handful of other major characters besides the Rimstalker and her machine intelligences: Ned O’Tennis gets thrown back to nearly the beginning of the solar system, and tries to work his way home to his love, Chan-ti Beppu, who has also gone deep in the overworld to find him. Their struggle to find each other takes them through all of history, and gives us a good overview of what happened, from the perspective of the little guy.

Attanasio did a very good job with this book because he set himself a universe where he could give glimpses of various societies and technological developments, like in the first book Radix. You may not appreciate that he leaves more loose ends than he completes, but then, Zelazny does that all the time and somehow manages to keep readers.

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