In the wake of an extinction-level meteor impact, a small group of human survivors manages to leave the barren Earth and establish a new home on the moon. From Tycho Base, they're able to observe the devastated planet and wait for a time when return will become possible. Finally, after millennia of waiting, the descendants of the original refugees travel back to a planet they've never known, to try to rebuild a civilisation of which they've never been a part. But after so much time, the question is not whether they can rebuild an old destroyed home, but whether they can learn to inhabit an alien new world - Earth.
Winner of the John W. Campbell Award for best novel, 2002
Jack Williamson (1908 - 2006)
John Stewart 'Jack' Williamson was born in Arizona in 1908 and raised in an isolated New Mexico farmstead. After the Second World War, he acquired degrees in English at the Eastern New Mexico University, joining the faculty there in 1960 and remaining affiliated with the school for the rest of his life. Williamson sold his first story at the age of 20 - the beginning of a long, productive and successful career, which started in the pulps, took in the Golden Age and extended right into his nineties. He was the second author, after Robert A. Heinlein, to be named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by SFWA, and by far the oldest recipient of the Hugo (2001, aged 93) and Nebula (2002, aged 94) awards. A significant voice in SF for over six decades, Jack Williamson is credited with inventing the terms 'terraforming' and 'genetic engineering'. He died in 2006.