Eternity is a sweeping vision defining the plot vein started with Stapleton's Starmaker and Zebrowski's Macroworld. Extending from the near future to the Universe's end, Greg Bear paints a vision of Humanity (extended to all intelligentlife forms)at it's best and worst, and does it with very sympathetic characters, extensive and involved plots, and ingenious predictions on technology and evolution. Plus, The Way - a constructed, self-contained universe made by man. Quite possibly the best Science Fiction I have read. If you read Eon, by Bear, this is a must-read sequal that far surpasses the original.