It is a science fiction book. The hero of the book is Neal 'Storm' Cloud. Although the story happens in the 'Lensman' universe he is not a Lensman. Instead he is a nuclear engineer with an amazingly mathematical mind. He is a high level genius and a lightning calculator. In his universe there is something we have apparently don't have in ours, self-sustaining vortices of atomic energy. These are like a small piece of the heart of a star. A churning vortex of heat and light that slowly grows while consuming whatever it is in contact with. In theory they can be blown out by a precise amount of explosives, placed at an exact spot in the vortex, at exactly the right time. The problem is, it takes the best computers available hours to calculate the factors needed, and only seconds are available to get the correct amount of explosives on target. Also, if you try to blow one out, but don't get the factors right, all you do is split the vortex into many separate vortices and scatter them far and wide, and soon each is as dangerous as the original. Although Storm Cloud, being a nuclear engineer and lightning calculator, should be able to calculate the factors and extinguish a vortex, in practice he can't. It would be very dangerous and Storm has a wife and kids, and putting himself in that kind of danger ties his mind up with worry so much that he just can't do it.
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I was really disappointed that this is NOT the complete book! It only has chapter one. As it was advertised as "complete" , this was a major disappointment