The Triumph of Time

by James Blish
Series: Cities in Flight 4
Reviewed date: 2007 May 12
Rating: 2
128 pages
Also entitled A Clash of Cymbals
cover art

The Okie city of New York has settled down in the Greater Magellanic Cloud, and has colonized a planet christened New Earth. Back in the Milky Way, the hegemony of Earth has given way to an empire called the Web of Hercules.

New Earth has its own troubles, though. Jorn the Apostle is stirring up religious violence in the Magellanic Cloud, threatening the seat of government on New Earth itself. Mayor John Amalfi thwarts Jorn's uprising, just in time to discover a much graver threat: the end of time.

Scientists on the planet He have discovered that the universe and an anti-universe are on a collision course. The result will be utter annihilation. Only one hope remains: a pocket of space called the Ginnangu-Gap at the center of the universe might allow someone or something to survive the disaster.

The people of He fit their planet with spindizzies and fly it to the Ginnangu-Gap; they arrive just ahead of the Web of Hercules, who also hope to survive the end of time. A short bloody war ends in Pyrric victory. The Web forces are destroyed, but everyone on He receives a lethal dose of radiation.

It's a moot point, though. The end of time will occur before anyone has time to die of radiation poisoning. The end comes at the predicted time, and Mayor Amalfi (and a few select others) make it through the Gap. They do not survive, but in their deaths they each shape the makeup of a newly formed miniature universe.

Apparently I read this book years ago, because I remembered the ending. I didn't remember anything else, probably because the rest of the book is written poorly. I do not recommend The Triumph of Time. I'm disappointed in the whole Okie series; only A Life for the Stars is even half-way decent. This was a waste of my time.

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