cover image The Far Shore of Time

The Far Shore of Time

Frederik Pohl. Tor Books, $23.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86618-1

In the admirable conclusion to Pohl's 21st-century trilogy of alien invasion, the Eschaton Sequence (The Other End of Time; The Siege of Eternity), Federal agent Dan Dannerman survives another perilous series of other-worldly encounters before returning home to save Earth. At the start of the novel, Dannerman is cloned by a group of alien Horch and imprisoned so they can interrogate him about life on our planet. The Horch are a threatening, reptilian people who are battling the most dangerous aliens of all, the mind-controlling, empire-building Beloved Leaders, for dominion of the universe. Nonetheless, a faction of independently minded Horch rescue Dannerman from captivity. With the help of a Horch named Beert and a six-armed female ""medical sapient"" named Pirraghiz, the human finds a way back to Earth. There he faces another sequence of trials: he must prove his identity several times, keep the National Bureau of Investigation from concealing Horch technology and defeat the Beloved Leaders' elaborate plans for subjugating the blue planet. Much of the novel won't make sense to those who haven't read the preceding volumes, but Pohl's fertile imagination and subtle characterizations are as evident as ever. The book's densely packed action and impressive world-building make it a gratifying wrap-up to an entertaining series. (Aug.) FYI: Pohl has won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, including the Grand Master Nebula, and is the author of more than 50 novels.