Splendid long-range sequel to The Peace War (1984). Following various wars coupled with quantum leaps in technological development, humans suddenly and inexplicably vanished--the ""Singularity""--in the 23rd century. Now, in 50 million A.D., Yelen Korolev and her assistant Marta are trying to assemble what's left of the human race into a society capable of long-term survival. (They've all endured such a vast sweep of time thanks to the ""bobbles,"" impenetrable spherical force fields inside which a total stasis prevails; to complete a one-way time trip into the future, all one has to do is climb inside a bobble.) The survivors, however, are a disparate group, many of whom oppose Yelen's plans. Now, nearby stands an ancient bobble, due to expire in the next hundred thousand years, containing hundreds more survivors; in order that the two groups might join up, Yelen's people retire into their bobbles to wait, leaving monitors to signal the final decay of the ancient bobble. However, an evil Someone sabotages Yelen's equipment, and maroons poor Marts outside the bobbles--where, alone, she's doomed to live out her life and die of old age. Full of grief and rage, Yelen summons ex-policeman Wil Brierson to expose the murderer; but, after a long and difficult investigation, Wil realizes that there are not one but two highly dangerous megalomaniacs in their midst. A marvelous extrapolative tale, to which no summary can do justice, with a gripping blend of high-tech razzle-dazzle and good old-fashioned murder-mystery--all spiced with that unique and awe-inspiring new twist on the time-travel theme. Easily Vinge's best work, and highly recommended.