In the year 25,000 AD
When John Martels returned to consciousness he found himself the Delphic Oracle of a world far different from the Twentieth Century. Humanity has risen and fallen three times and was back once again in a semi-primative state.
He shared his oracular powers with a mind and a device left over from the last Rebirth, but the real problem was not rebuilding civilization, it was that another genus of creatures had arisen to claim inheritance of the world - the evolved. Strangely intelligent birds, whose priority was the elimination of the world's former masters.
The problem of man versus bird, complicated by the question of John's personal survival, presents a canvas worthy of the diverse talents of the author of A Case of Conscience and Cities in Flight.
James Blish (1921-75) studied microbiology at Rutgers and then served as a medical laboratory technician in the US army during the Second World War. Among his best known books are Cities in Flight, A Case of Conscience, for which he won the Hugo in 1959 for Best Novel, Doctor Mirabilis, Black Easter and The Day After Judgement.