On the Oceans of Eternity
|Author||S. M. Stirling|
|Genre||Alternate history, Science fiction novel|
|April 10, 2000 (USA and Canada)
April 29, 2000 (UK)
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Against the Tide of Years|
On the Oceans of Eternity is the third and final novel of the Nantucket alternate history series by S. M. Stirling. The novel was released in the United States and Canada on April 10, 2000, and was released in the United Kingdom on April 29 of the same year.
In the first novel Island in the Sea of Time, the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts is transported by an unknown phenomenon (called "The Event" in the series) back in time on March 17, 1998 at 9:15 pm EST to the Bronze Age circa 1250s BC (corresponding to the late Heroic Age of the Trojan War).
After making an alliance with Babylon, Hatti, and Mitanni, the Republic of Nantucket is ready to defeat Walker (who now controls Mycenean Greece) and his allies. They are, however, too late to save the beleaguered Troy. While Nantuckar forces are tied up in defending an isolated outpost in the mountains, this history's version of the Trojan War comes to an end without the subtle ploy of the Trojan Horse. Rather, Walker's modern weaponry overwhelms the Trojan defenses, and the city's inhabitants suffer a gruesome sack. Still, retribution is not far: Walker is finally brought down by the Nantuckars – not in frontal attack, but in a Machiavellian trick. Walker's regent in Greece, bitter on learning that Walker has robbed him of the undying fame that was to have been his, aids the Nantuckers into tricking Walker's security chief – an odious former operative of the East German Stasi – into poisoning Walker and his entire entourage.
In the aftermath, Greece is taken over by the regent, who is none other than Odysseus, who turns out to be every bit as crafty and resourceful as Homer depicted him, and who agrees (on his own terms) to join the growing list of Nantucket's allies in the Middle East. Things look well as the alliance with Babylon is clenched, the Babylonian king getting at his side an American queen who also commands the modernized Babylonian army, and an American doctor married to a Babylonian healer starts on building up the new University of Babylon. Moreover, the Nantuckars seek to extend their influence into Pharaonic Egypt – with whose forces they had a clash in contested Canaan, following which work started on subverting captured Egyptian generals and bringing them into the Nantuckar fold. Meanwhile, in the Western Hemisphere, the prosperous Republic of Nantucket – getting an increasing number of new immigrants – prepares to plant a new colony in what would have been Argentina.
Still, shadows are on the further horizon. Walker's daughter – still a child, but already exhibiting both her father's intelligence and his ruthless determination – escapes with faithful retainers into the depths of Asia, there to bide her time and plot revenge on the hated Islanders. South of Egypt, in what would have been Sudan, another American renegade – who is a staunch Black Nationalist – is building up a power base of his own. Moreover, Tartessos, under its own wily and resourceful ruler, is determined to emulate Nantucket and build its own global maritime empire (similar to Imperial Japan in the history we know). The Tartessians have been defeated both in a head-on invasion of Nantucket itself and in an effort to steal a march and build a hidden power base among the Native Americans of California, and for the time being they are willing to keep the peace – but their imperial dreams are far from shelved.