Study Guide

Timescape Chapter 30

By Gregory Benford

Chapter 30


  • Ian Peterson enters his office and browses through his incoming messages.
  • He notices a call from Kiefer flagged urgent. He calls and gets a busy signal, so he sets his phone to repeat the call every twenty seconds.
  • After editing a memo, he requests an update and finds Kiefer still has a busy signal; he thinks on the committee meeting that morning about the cloud distribution.
  • Finally, he gets through to Kiefer. Kiefer wants to let him know they've discovered the underlying process in the diatom bloom—that the bloom cells can change living microorganisms into itself.
  • That's great news. They might be able to create an antidote in time, but they also learned they don't have much time. In mere months, the stuff will spread to other oceans. (For the record, this does not sound like great news to us… it sounds like terrible news…)
  • Peterson makes his way into a restaurant that is totally not his scene. There, the meets Laura.
  • Laura tells him she moved out of her parents' house and has come to London to get into acting. She wants his advice about getting into the biz.
  • Against his better judgment, Peterson orders some food and decides to pursue another night with Laura.