The Last Legends of Earth is a magnificent, visionary epic of the far future by one of the 21st century's most exciting creators of imaginative fiction.
Seven billion years from now, long after the Sun has died and human life itself has become extinct, alien beings reincarnate humanity from our fossilized DNA drifting as debris in the void of deep space. We are reborn to serve as bait in a battle to the death between the Rimstalker, humankind's reanimator, and the zōtl, horrific creatures who feed vampire-like on the suffering of intelligent lifeforms.
The reborn children of Earth are told: "You owe no debt to the being that roused you to this second life. Neither must you expect it to guide you or benefit you in any way." Yet humans choose sides, as humans will, participating in the titanic struggle between Rimstalker and zōtl in ways strange and momentous.
Set in the artificial planetary system of Chalco-Doror, which is no more and no less than a vast cosmic machine, The Last Legends of Earth is a love story, a gripping saga of struggle against alien control, and an examination of the machinery of creation and destruction. Above all, it is world-building of the highest and grandest order, on a scale rarely seen in science fiction since the great works of Olaf Stapledon.
David Hiltbrand, People [18 December 1989]: "In this future, space and time are often fractured, and the characters, both alien and human, jump through the seven millennia and 15 planets as if engaged in a deadly game of Chutes and Ladders. All this presents a megabig canvas for Attanasio to work on, but he has created out of it, as he did in the excellent Radix, a wonderfully realized, richly-detailed and cohesive novel."
Roger Zelazny: "The Last Legends of Earth by A. A. Attanasio reads like Olaf Stapledon with a plot! It plays with the ultimates of time, space, creation, destruction, intelligence. It is told in terms of eons, system-sized machines, time travel, resurrections from DNA, villains of universe-class nastiness. And it is, among other things, a love story. The author's use of language is, as ever, arresting. Recommended in the same spirit of extremes!"
Robert Silverberg: "A grand and glorious visionary epic, which floods the reader with wonders -- the thing that science fiction is supposed to achieve but all too rarely does. I loved it."
James Gunn: "Attanasio's The Last Legends of Earth confirms the reputation built by his earlier novels: big concepts, narrative drive, and skillful writing, with a touch of the grotesque in the midst of the romance and adventure. In his latest epic, he may have outdone himself with a staggering concept of worlds being created at the end of time and populated with humans who disappeared when Earth was destroyed billions of years earlier, who must decipher and cope with their roles as bait in a trap set for sapient spiders who live on pain. It may sound far-fetched when set down so baldly, but Attanasio makes it all plausible and engrossing."