It's a damned fine life, little toil or strife these four score and seven years.
But it's winding down. Not a tear or frown; of the end Sarah has no fears.
Then a call's received, as she long believed. Though her days are drawing short,
What is heard this day only she can say, so to work Sarah must report.
Roll her back to twenty five, I say, roll her back to twenty five.
For her no sleep, we have to keep Ms. Halifax alive.
Ms. Halifax was a clever lass. She decoded the Call from the Sky
Back in two k nine. Her brilliant mind helped us craft Planet Earth's reply.
When the Sigma Dracons saw her note, they'd respond, she knew without fail.
But the round-trip time is thirty eight years, and by then she'd be old and frail.
The answer came on schedule, just like Sarah always knew:
A response to her message from long ago - and a scrambling sequence too.
An encrypted message from aliens? Sarah though, "how can this be?"
Though the algorithm was evident, only Sarah could find the key.
The cost of Rollback technology is a small nation's GDP.
A fountain of youth for billionaires, Sarah thought, but not for me.
A tycoon, self made, promised all bills paid, if she would carry on.
Smiling at their past, she agreed at last: "But not without my love, Don."
Roll them back to twenty five, I say, roll them back to twenty five.
For them no sleep, we have to keep both Sarah and Don alive.
Rollback reliability leaves a lot to be desired.
The result achieved with Don and Sarah is not what was required.
With one made young and the other old (I won't tell which is which),
We see a clever plot unfold, and it shows that life's a bitch.
I will not spoil the ending of this entertaining tale,
For you can buy a copy wherever fine books are on sale.
The novel's "Rollback" by Robert Sawyer, the publisher is TOR,
So you will have to read it if you are wanting to learn more.
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this page last updated 2 June 2007
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