SF's grand old man Sir Arthur teams up with newer star Baxter to tackle a whopping science-fiction idea with ample scope for both their talents. Their "WormCam" video camera looks across any distance through tiny wormholes in space. Initially this seems no worse than a remote TV link, but it transforms the world as disquieting cans of worms are irrevocably opened. This gadget is a veritable WormCan.
Distance is no obstacle. Neither are walls. Early WormCams allow daringly invasive newspaper scoops--and once the general public can buy them, personal privacy vanishes forever. Anyone can spy on you anywhere. Or anywhen, because next-generation WormCams peer through time as well as space ... at your embarrassing old secrets, at mysteries of the past, at the truth about old murders, Princess Di, the Mary Celeste, Abraham Lincoln, and even Jesus.
As WormCams steadily improve, they probe into deep time: spying on early man, walking with dinosaurs, back and back to a poignant SF vision of what came before life as we know it. It builds towards an utopian dream of the wonders humanity could achieve if given total access to its past.
Clarke and Baxter ramble intriguingly in all directions, exploring every implication. Their imaginative set-pieces are linked by a slightly soap-operatic plot featuring the megalomaniac entrepreneur whose labs built the WormCam, the sons he's manipulated like puppets, and one son's girlfriend who becomes a spanner in (as the lab's nicknamed) the WormWorks. Wide-ranging, ambitious and enjoyable. --David Langford
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘Two titans of hard SF team up for a story of grand scientific and philosophical scope… The large-scale implications addressed are impressive in this potent story’