If at First . . .

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If at First . . . If at First . . .

by Peter F. Hamilton

Genre: Science

Published: 2007

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Peter F. Hamilton has proven himself a modern master of epic space opera, carrying the tradition of far-future empire building begun by Heinlein and Asimov into the new millennium. But Hamilton is also a master of the short story, and when he tackles one of science fiction's most enduring themes-time travel-the result is as provocative as it is entertaining. It starts in 2007 with a break-in. The victim: Marcus Orthew, the financial and technological genius behind Orthanics, the computer company whose radical products have delivered a one-two punch to the industry, all but knocking PCs and Macs out of the ring. The perpetrator: a man obsessed with Orthew. Just another simple case of celebrity stalking-or so everyone assumes at first, including Metropolitan Police Chief Detective David Lanson. But when Lanson interviews the suspect, he makes a startling claim: Orthew is from the future. Or, rather, a future-a parallel timeline. Thus begins the ride of a lifetime for Lanson, as his pursuit of the facts tumbles him headlong down a rabbit hole-and the hunter finds himself hunted.

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