Great Sky River
by Gregory Benford (Published by Bantam Spectra)
Nominated for Best Novel in 1988
Nearly 100,000 years after first contact with the machines that dominate the universe, only a few hundred humans survive. Trapped on Snowglade, a barren world near the center of the galaxy, Killeen and his child, Toby, of the Bishop Tribe are primitive scavengers, homeless and hunted by the ruling “mechs”. Then suddenly, a strange cosmic entity – neither organic nor cybernetic or living matter – reaches out from a black hole to speak with Killeen. But can the fallen descendent of starfarers understand this being in time―and seize his only chance to save his family and mankind from final annihilation?