Imagination, implemented by science, thrusts the reader into the distant atomic ages of a wasteland of the universe, where the few planets that can still sustain life vie with each other to achieve complete extermination of the others first. The story opens in the Starmount Observatory, where dark secrets, known to a mere handful, presage the survival alone of the desert of the earth, and where Dr. Forester sacrifices human preoccupations for identification with the abstractions of science in the rhosomagnetic and electromagnetic fields. Then comes unwanted interruption- a waif, bearing a message, penetrates the impenetrable. And from then on, the story resembles the most fantastic adventures, with a tiny segment of mankind battling the onslaught of the machine, in the humanoids, perfect mechanical men, who think and speak, and are controlled from a distant planet, a central all-compassing brain. Their aim- to eliminate war, to bring peace; their price- loss of human freedom. It is this Dr. Forester battles against. The defenders,- a frail man; a child waif with inhuman powers, a few derelicts from civilization- and one strong man, Ironsmith, who sees compromise as an answer. The scientifically minded (and trained) will be fascinated by the prophetic imaginings. The average layman will skim the technicalities, and get to the superman adventures.