One star-chained evening in a Manhattan bathroom, Carl Schirmer, a sweet, slightly defeated bar manager, spontaneously transforms into energy and finds himself transported to the farthest extreme of the universe, 130 billion years later, when all of spacetime is collapsing into the vast nothingness of the cosmic black hole. There, in the semi-benevolent grip of an “eld skyle” – a levitating island containing a five-space sentience – Carl learns that the eld skyle has summoned him to feed upon the human’s inertia, then excretes him in a far more palatable form: a buff version of his former self.

“Your perfection is my waste,” the eld skyle tells Carl, somewhat smugly. “You are made of my sludge, animated by my own inertial resonance...” Turned loose in time's last world, the strangest of all -- the Werld, Carl discovers a domain of indescribably beautiful islands floating in a sky contoured by gravity lanes. These skyles are inhabited by bizarre creatures – gumper hogs, dew spiders, man-size blood beetles – as well as the Foke, nomadic humans, who struggle for survival against the zōtl, a spidery intelligence that eats sentient beings in an excruciating fashion. Among the Foke, Carl meets the lovely Evoë, and their life together offers a blissful future in this kingdom that knows no aging or disease – until Evoë is captured by the zōtl. In order to save her life, Carl must return to Earth - 130 billion years earlier - where he is shocked to discover that the world he has come back to is not the one he left...