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Tomorrow and Tomorrow Mass Market Paperback – January 5, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sheffield, who won the 1993 Nebula and 1994 Hugo awards for his novelette, Georgia on My Mind, fleshes out another piece of short fiction, At the Eschaton, to create this story of love's triumph over illness and mortality. The talented 21st-century composer Drake Merlin leads a seemingly charmed life; that is, until his wife, Ana, is stricken by a mysterious and incurable illness. Desperate, Merlin has his wife placed in cryostasis and sets about amassing a fortune to keep her there until a cure can be found. Then, like the Arthurian character for whom he's named, Merlin joins her prolonged sleep. The years pass, and while Merlin is awakened at various times?500 years later, to discover the solar system undergoing massive terraforming; then 20,000 years later?the news about his wife remains as bleak as ever. The future Sheffield envisions is fairly familiar, until Merlin awakens some 14 million years hence. Here, he sees the sun has burned down to red, and humanity has branched off into numerous subspecies capable of surviving in hostile environments. While this setting is truly alien, the reasons for Merlin's revival is a bit cliched?a docile humanity faces a terrifying enemy, and so Merlin's "primitive drive and aggression" is the last hope. The novel does not generate a consistently compelling narrative, in part because Merlin's love for his wife is portrayed as tender and sincere but lacks the passion that would motivate such heroics. Also given the sprawling canvas, Sheffield offers only tepid surprises. Sheffield, a mathematician and physicist by training, offers a laudable appendix discussing the scientific cornerstones of the novel.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In The Billion Dollar Boy, rich, spoiled, overweight 15-year-old Shelby Cheever is bored, so he convinces his mother to take him on a space cruise. Without proper preparation, and drunk besides, he accesses the node network alone to visit the Kuiper asteroid belt and finds himself hurtled 27 light years out to the Messina Dust Cloud, where he is rescued by a mining family. On the three-month journey home, Shelby must learn how to do for himself in an environment where his wealth and pampered status mean nothing. Another well-written coming-of-age adventure story in the new Jupiter series. For large sf collections. In the hard-science Tomorrow & Tomorrow, Sheffield explores changes in the solar system and the theory of a closed vs. open system wrapped around a tale of a musician's fanatical love for his wife. Drake Merlin has his dying wife Ana and himself cryonically frozen so they can be together once a cure for her disease is found. Several times over 15 billion years he is awakened only to find no cure and, one time, he accidentally causes Ana's death. But if the theory of a closed system is true and the universe shrinks, he and Ana can return to a point when she is alive. This fascinating story is recommended for most sf collections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; First Thus edition (January 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553578898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553578898
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,680,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I dunno. Charles Sheffield knows his science; in fact, to prove it, he's included an appendix that summarizes the astronomical/cosmological theories on which this tale is founded. He even makes reference to Frank Tipler's _The Physics of Immortality_, making this the second book I've recently read that does so. (The other is Robert Sawyer's _Flashforward_.)
But the story itself is Asimovian in the best and worst senses. Like the Good Doctor, Sheffield is ambitious in his reach: this is a _cosmic_ story, with a breathtakingly wide scope. But also like the Good Doctor, he tends to give his characters made-up-sounding pseudo-futuristic names like Fundular Threem or Gordis Pulge (both of which I just now made up, but they sure sound Asimovian, don't they?). And like the Good Doctor, he sometimes lets the scope of the tale get in the way of the telling, resorting to broad, summary expositions rather than actual drama.
Well, the story is captivating, at least. The first portion -- Drake Merlin making arrangements for himself and his wife Ana to be cryonically preserved until a cure is available for her disease -- is well-written and well-paced. The first round of Drake's future awakening is handled well too.
But it starts to come apart after that. First of all, Drake does something so incredibly, astoundingly, outrageously, mind-bendingly _stupid_ (I won't tell you what, but you'll know when you get there) that it just about ruins the character and the plot. Second, the end of the first portion of the book leaves (let's say) something to be desired in the way of personal continuity.
And third, the latter portion of the story -- the stuff in the way-far future -- is probably just a little more than Sheffield should have bitten off.
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Format: Paperback
Tomorrow and Tomorrow is really two stories in one book. I didn't figure this out until a few weeks after I had finished the book. After an absolutely compelling beginning dealing with one man's relationship with his wife and his attempt to deal, through cryopreservation, with her impending fatal illness, the story then propels the characters so far into the future that the relationship loses center stage. At this point the book becomes a very different story; a scientific exploration of the cosmological future of the universe. If you don't make make the switch when the book does, you may find yourself wondering, as I did, where did this great initial story go.
Looking back (after realizing that there are basically two separate stories tied together here), both stories are very skillfully told. I have read numerous books dealing with the cosmological end of the universe, so the impact this book made wasn't initially very strong. But doing some comparative evaluation made me realize that the scientific cosmology here was done very well, better than most books dealing with this topic. If this is a relatively new idea to a reader, I'll bet he/she would be impressed.
If you want to see the first story continue on to a satisfying conclusion, you will be a bit disappointed (like I was), but that's not what the book is about. The first half does an excellent job of getting you to the second half which I think is what the author really was writing about. As long as you don't mind the first story fading into the background and realize that the second half of the book is significantly different from the first half, this is an impressive book. And even if you don't make the whole leap from one story to the other, reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow is still time very enjoyably spent.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Charles Sheffield does a fine job here in this eons spanning tale, to me at least it mostly appears plausible. Here you will read of cryonic suspensions, control of matter at the atomic level, downloading of minds into other vessels of thought, a universe of post-humanity, and many other amazing things, it was page-turning material for me. The primary character is Drake Merlin, his wife died of an untreatable condition and he had her cryonically suspended, willing to do practically anything to bring her back to him, an obsession indeed. He goes through many trials and tribulations along the way, all of this is believable in the hard science fiction tradition. I could relate to the refreshing world-view permeating this novel, no myth filled views here, this is a journey into unimaginable stretches of time, well worth reading. The only real criticism I found in this book is how Sheffield treats the subject of cryonic suspension, he does seem to present many inaccuracies, a minor point here, but I do take one star off for it. For a better description of how cryonics actually works in real life read "The First Immortal" by James Halperin, or "Tech Heaven" by Linda Nagata. These two are very fine novels and not to be missed for the science fiction aficionado.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story of a late 20th century man whose wife is dying. Rather than let her go, he has them both cryogenically frozen in the hopes that she may be cured in the future. He is awakened much later only to learn that she was irrevocably lost to him. Instead he is needed as the last remnant of humanity's violent times to combat a new menace to the vast but peaceful human space empire.
This book tops my list of Sheffield favorites. Even if you despise the story - and I don't see why you would - the concepts of what man may accomplish in the distant future will leave you in wonder for days. Sheffield introduces an incredible amount of fascinating ideas about the future of genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, society, music, space travel, communications, immortality, and even the nature of reality.
I withheld the fifth star from my rating because the ending baffled me. This may have been the fault of my hurry to see what happens, rather than any poor writing on the author's part. But I was a little disappointed by it. Still, I heartily recommend this to anyone interested in sci fi or just exploring possibilities.
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