The Eschaton, who may or may not be of human origin, is an extremely powerful intelligence that one day appears and scatters mankind over a sphere of a thousands parsecs of space and three thousands years of time. One rule it imposes on all the far-flung colonies of mankind is not to threaten continuity in it’s light cone. Yet when the unknown entity named the Festival threatens the society on Rochard’s World with all the free information the people want, the leaders of the New Republic don’t react in kind. But to counter the festival, the New Republic sends armed ships that, if all goes according to plan, should reach Rochard’s World together with the festival, and in doing so play with the timeline in the Eschaton’s light cone.
This book seems to have it all, great ideas and concepts, all the things I like about SF, but it makes one grave mistake. Most of the interesting events happen elsewhere, we only glimpse occasionally on what happens on Rochard’s World, on the changes that occur in the wake of the Festival. Most of the time the plot is concentrated on describing the spaceships traveling to Rochard’s World, and this part is far too long and uninteresting to make up for the (admittedly brilliant) revelation of what the Festival actually is.