[[caption-width-right:271:First hardcover edition]]A 1983 novel by Creator/JohnVarley.

In 1989 Bill Smith, an agent of the National Transportation Safety Board, is sent to the scene of an airline accident in Minnesota where a Boeing 747 was bumped by a DC-10, shearing part of the wing off, crashing both aircraft. He and his colleagues find several oddities to the wreckage; all the watches found in the wreckaged are forty-five minutes ahead - some were found running ''backwards'' - and the black box recorded the flight engineer running into the cockpit screaming that the passengers he had gone to check on were all burned and dead.

Meanwhile, about ''eighty thousand years'' [[MeanwhileInTheFuture in the future]], JustBeforeTheEnd[[note]](Beat ''that'' TabletopGame/Warhammer40000!)[[/note]]. Pollution is so bad it is not only killing everyone but they can't exist without it, either. A plan is underway to use TimeTravel to pluck humans from throughout history just before their deaths if it can be done in secrecy - historical lost colonies, shipwrecks, airplane cashes, any situation lacking survivors - the living are replaced with brain-dead duplicates and stored as {{Human Popsicle}}s so they can eventually be sent somewhere far enough in the future (or elsewhere) that the pollution had broken down and the human race can start anew. This is tricky business, though - ''anything'' out of place can cause a time paradox which results in massive issues in the future they came from.

Unfortunately, someone accidentally left a stunner on the 747. It's up to Louise Baltimore to get the missing stunner back and make sure it doesn't end up in Bill's hands.

The book was made into a [[Film/{{Millennium}} movie]] in 1989.

This book [[SimilarlyNamedWorks is not be confused]] with the various other works named ''{{Millennium}}''.

!!This book provides examples of:

* AdamAndEvePlot: The point of collecting the doomed people is to send them to an un-polluted world. [[spoiler:Turns out that the colonists aren't being sent to another planet, but ''a hundred million years'' into the future. Louise even joins them, conceiving a daughter with Bill]].
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:The Gate Project successfully sends 200,000 healthy humans to a far-future Earth where they can re-populate the planet. Mayer reunites with the daughter who the Project rescued from a plane crash. Louise joins them, and even successfully produces a healthy daughter with Bill, despite her first child dying before her second birthday. However, the colony lacks the infrastructure of 81st-century Earth, implying that the future civilization will be just as screwed-up as the one that saved them. Mayer turns out to have idealized his relationship with his daughter, who spitefully reveals to him(but [[TheUnreveal not to the reader]]) a tragic secret behind the death of her mother. Louise dies just a year later, leaving Bill with their daughter - who will neglect her, as he never even mentioned that he has an ex-wife and two ''more'' children who he abandoned in the past. Humans won't waste their second chance, but they won't make the best of it, either]].
* TheBlank: Sherman starts the book with no face and adds to it as the plot moves along.
* BrainInAJar: Some of the council are exactly that.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler: Sherman says he's like Jesus. Louise makes a comment and he changes it to Moses. In the end it turns out he's been the prophet of Big Computer all along]].
* ContrivedClumsiness: Louise tries this to divert attention away from an incriminating audio recording, while also trying to destroy the tape via spilled coffee. It doesn't work.
* {{Chronoscope}}: The Gate can be used as one - just not on any time period when the Gate was in operation.
* {{Cyborg}}: Many of the people in the future have aspects of this, especially as the 21st century came up with "genetic warfare" - diseases that not only killed enemy populations, but left the survivors with ''congentital'' conditions. After a few centuries of ''that'', people who ''didn't'' have at least one failing organ replaced with prosthetics are completely unheard of; the most common being a "skinsuit" that acts as an external immune system and general cosmetic for a blighted appearance. It's rather common for people to spend the rest of their lives in the equivalent of iron lungs.
-->'''Louise''': The critical problems were all inside. Various organs were in advanced states of disrepair. Many were gone, replaced by artificial ones. It was a toss-up which would be the next to go. Some we can replace with self-contained, life-sized imitations. Some require a roomful of machinery if they go rotten.
* DerelictGraveyard: When it's easier just to pull the entire doomed craft through the gate they do so and then dump it here. Louise notes the interesting juxtaposition here - the Titanic sits next to a starship.
* DeusEstMachina: [[spoiler:turns out Big Computer was actually God on earth]].
* TheEndingChangesEverything: [[spoiler:The Big Computer had been God himself all along, helping humanity save themselves]].
* FantasticSlurs: Louise calls the people they rescue "Goats" because they're ridiculously healthy compared to people from her time. Those she calls "Wimps", because they're dying in such numbers that the Gate Project freezes their bodies and leaves them in the past as TrickedOutTime replacements for the "goats".
* GainaxEnding: [[spoiler:For the same reason as ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', too; the Big Computer is revealed to be God, and Sherman his prophet. They discuss that Louise was an UnreliableNarrator - so crazy there's no way to tell if ''anything'' she said throughout the story is true. Once Sherman goes to sleep in preparation for the jump to the future, God admits to himself that the "hundred million year" jump explanation is actually for the benefit of Sherman, who he's lying to only slightly less than Louise; he's actually '''''RECREATING THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE''''' and starting a new "sequence", hoping the addition of intelligent machines like Sherman will help humans make better use of their free will this time - the first time was purely Biblical from Garden of Eden to Second Coming, the second our own science-based universe complete with evolution, making this the third time he's created the universe. His last thoughts are; "Maybe this time it will work, and I'll get that vacation I keep promising myself, on the seventh day]]."
* GasLeakCoverup: The NTSB finds dozens of weird watches in the plane crash; as things got rather hectic right before the crash, dozens of the replacements the Gate Project left behind are forty-five minutes ahead give or take those who hadn't re-set their watches for new time zones - those are a few hours ahead ''plus'' forty-five minutes. Four watches that were too close to the gate when things went completely to hell are running '''backwards.''' In the end the NTSB simply replaces them all with ones that ''aren't'' proof that someone was screwing with the laws of physics, insisting rather firmly that [[InternalRetcon they never existed]].
* HaveWeMetYet: Louise tries to keep Bill from unknowingly changing the future by meeting, seducing, and sleeping with him. Unfortunately, the next time Bill encounters Louise, its actually the first time ''she's'' ever met him, so she rebuffs his affectionate approach. The fact that during their (to Bill, anyway) ''second'' meeting she treats him like a complete stranger confuses Bill just enough to cause the disruption in the time stream Louise was trying to prevent in the first place.
* IdiotBall: Bill - an NTSB agent who should know better about tinkering with evidence - stuns himself by continuing to prod around on the inside of the stunner when he knows he should be calling people about it. He lampshades this in his testimony.
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: Invoked. No one can enter a time where they already exist - and it rarely comes up anyway, as the gate can't access any particular time more than once.
* NoAntagonist: Except maybe Humanity ''itself'', for letting the future get as bad as it has.
* OneWordTitle
* OurTimeTravelIsDifferent: Aside from the constant danger of a TimeCrash, the Gate can only appear [[WeOnlyHaveOneChance once]] in any specific time period - either as an entry or an exit. After that, that period of time is off-limits even for viewing through other means. That means that since the Gate was obviously in operation after it was created, no-one can travel back to ''that'' time and travel further back again, or even get a good look at the time period when it was created. As the biggest of the ''many'' wars that separated the present day from JustBeforeTheEnd occurred shortly after the Gate was created, that means that '''no-one knows where the Gate came from.''' [[spoiler:All this is {{Foreshadowing}} that humans ''didn't'' actually create the Gate, but it was in fact "given" to them by '''''God''''' in the form of the Big Computer]].
* PhysicalGod: [[spoiler:Big Computer]].
* PollutedWasteland: The future.
* PopulationXAndCounting: Louise asks Sherman the population of earth as most people are committing suicide. He keeps updating his answer to reflect reality. The last time she asks, there's only ''two hundred and seven people left.''
* RagnarokProofing: Many of the buildings of the city.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[BerserkButton Louise gives one]] to Bill when he asks what the future had done to screw everything up, when it was actually the result of his generation and onwards.
-->''It started with your great-grandfather and the industrial revolution. But it was you, you unspeakable son-of-a-bitch, your fucking generation that really got things going. Did you really think there'd never be a nuclear war? There have been nineteen of them. Did you think nerve gases were going to just sit there, that nobody would ever use them? CBN, you called it. Chemical, Biological, Nuclear. You made plans just as if the world could survive it, just like it was another you could win. Well, goddamn it, we held out a long time, but this is what we came to. The plagues were the really cute part. Add laboratory-bred microbes to a high level of background radiation, and what you get is germs that mutate a hell of a lot faster than we can. We've done our best, we've fought them with everything we have. But your great-grandchildren came up with genetic warfare. So now the plagues are locked up right in our genes. No matter how hard we fight them, they change. Did you think we started the Gate Project for fun? Can't you see what it is? It's a last-ditch, hopeless effort to salvage something from the human race.''
* TrickedOutTime: ''The'' key plot element. Sure, they can travel back in time and take anything they want... as long as they leave something in its place that no-one ever discovers the difference. For the people the Gate Project rescues, they use cosmetically doctored corpses from their own time period, and stick to eras where DNA fingerprinting won't or can't be used.
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: The book is told almost entirely from Bill and Louise's standpoint.
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: To get the stunner back that was left behind. Unfortunately, it was found before they could get it meaning they had to go back earlier and try to stop Bill from even being there in the first place...
* SexBot: Sherman obliges when the need arises.
* UnreliableNarrator: In the last chapter, Sherman reveals that [[spoiler:Louise is actually a textbook case of this; she's so intensely delusional that she only ''thinks'' she use a prosthetic skinsuit to support a mutated, crippled body - the act of "taking it off" in Sherman's presence is merely an aid to his application as a psychological therapist. There's no telling what else is wrong with her, or if ''any'' of her statements throughout ''the entire book'' have even ''that'' much connection to reality]].
* WeOnlyHaveOneChance: The Gate in a nutshell. It can only be used once in any specific time period, either as an entrance or an exit. Afterwards, it can't even be used as a {{Chronoscope}}.