The Long Winter is over.
The People of the New Springtime must go out and reclaim their world.
For generations the survivors of the cataclysm have sheltered in cocoons buried in the earth and waited for the gods to grow tired of hurling down death-stars onto a frozen world. Now it is time for Koshmar and the boy-chronicler, Hresh, and the rest of Koshmar's tribe to emerge into the sun. A strange and savage landscape awaits them, where rat-wolves, bloodbirds and soulless hjjk-men stalk - and terrifyingly altered other creatures.
In the ruins of Vengiboneeza, the ancient capital of the sapphire-eyes folk, Hresh dares to celebrate their triumph - and suffers a shattering defeat at the realisation of a great and terrible truth.
(First published 1988)
After a recurrence of the cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs and a resulting Long Winter of 700,000 years, the eventual New Springtime sees only two of the far future Earth's original Six Peoples emerge from their deep cocoons: the resilient, insect-like hjjk-folk and the simian tribes who regard themselves as heirs to humanity. Young Hresh-full-of-questions is a member of one of the latter, a small band that must radically change its ancient rituals and taboos to adapt to their new life. Taking up temporary residence in the shell of a once great city, the group fearfully meets another people, is itself torn in half by rivalry and, through Hresh, achieves a new realization of who they are. This solid, dramatic novel expands on a favorite motif of Silverberg's: the mixed terrors and pleasures of freedom, of going out into the wider world without guide, map or a sure sense of one's own capabilities.