Professor Hoyle's sf adventure is a modern relative of Wells' The Time Machine. A transmission of solar beams plays havoc with time. England is in the 1960s but WWI is still raging in western Europe. Greece is in the golden age of Pericles, America some thousands of years in the future; while Russia and Asia are a glass-like plain, its surface fused together by the burnt-out sun of a far distant future. The central themes are time and the meaning of consciousness. The heroes are a pianist-composer and his scientist friend. The dramatic highpoint of the book is a magnificent, almost idyllic section on the life and music of the future, in which one can almost hear the compositions of two rivals as they compete in improvisations.