Williamson, a venerable but curiously commonplace writer, has ideas that sound better in the abstract than the concrete. This one begins with a genetic engineering program conceived by the Smithwicks, a family of ""Creators"" who first improve on inadequate Homo sap (""preman"") with two laboratory species and then come up with the ""stargods."" These powerful Frankenstein fabrications, however, send the Creators chasing back to their labs in a last desperate attempt to undo the consequences of their folly. A thousand years later, two ""preman"" waifs, Davey and Bugler, find unsuspected powers genetically programmed into their minds and bodies, and realize that they are to be the parents of the liberating ""ultiman."" It's difficult to work up much interest in the plight of Davey and Buglet; the saga of the Promethean Smithwicks (told only in fragmentary allusions) would have made a more substantial book than this silly scenario.