A CONTEMPORARY WOMAN'S EXPERIENCES IN THE FAR FUTURE AND DEEP TIME.
Following a heart-attack Anne Goodwood becomes the first person placed in an experimental hibernation chamber while a new heart is sought. She is woken hundreds of years later, in a city she has never heard of, by the Curator, an unseen computer that maintains the city long years after the last humans, the Polothians, left Earth to escape a plague that had killed the rest of the world's population. The Curator asks Anne to write a history of the Polothians and the religion humanity had evolved during its last years on Earth. However, Ann discovers the Curator had concealed from the Polothians the fact that it had achieved consciousness. Not only is the computer conscious, it is also ambitious. It intends to make improvements to the construction of the universe, and may have seen the Polothians as an obstacle. When the Curator realizes her suspicions, Anne is given two choices: immediate death or a return to the hibernation chambers. Anne finds she can't bear the loneliness of being the only human left on Earth and chooses death. But, circumstances conspire to send her back into hibernation and further into deep time. Anne wakes again to find that her body is dead and the Earth completely deserted, the Curator having departed to explore the universe. More shockingly, Anne realizes that she now exists only in the computer that controls the last city. It seems a hopeless situation. But, by now, Anne has become a very resourceful woman, and begins to hatch her own plan for ending her solitude and recreating the human race all over again! It's far more than a trillion to one shot, but what does that matter to a woman who is an immortal computer?