Futuristic battles in the cause of freedom, from the author of Grimm's World and True Names. Ten years from now, polymath Paul Hoehler discovers how to create impenetrable spherical force fields, or ""bobbles,"" but his invention is stolen and used by a ruthless band of conspirators to take over the world: calling themselves the Peace Authority, they merely ""embobble"" everybody and everything that offers resistance. Plagues follow, as the world outside the repressive Peace Authority enclaves regresses towards primitivism. Hoehler evades the Authority and becomes Paul Naismith, Tinker, one of those few who keep high technology alive and progressing despite the Authority's proscription on high-energy devices and biological research. Then, 50 years later, Naismith takes on an apprentice, sickly orphan Wili--who shows a startling talent for math and computers and soon learns how to subvert Peace Authority communications. And when the original bobbles begin to decay, releasing the occupants unharmed and unchanged; Naismith and Wili build their own low-power bobble generator and plan the tyrants' ultimate defeat. More or less standard plotting and narration, flabby in places and often superficial--but fetchingly embroidered, with a fair measure of tension and excitement.