With a Nobel Prize for Physics beckoning, the lead scientist becomes increasingly frustrated as one by one her colleagues, having spoken to the titular Tessimond, leave the team with immediate effect.
Roberts teases the reader as each departee refuses to explain what Tessimond has said to them, building up the tension. Asimov’s ‘Nightfall’ gets a mention, with the fact that the research they are undertaking is on the expansion of the universe tipping the wink that something big is going to happen.
There’s an ‘interesting’ range of language used – ‘geezer’, ‘galoomph’, ‘cahoots’, ‘bald bonce’ which is a little anachronostic – unless physicists really speak like that?. Finally the lead scientist (and the reader) has Tessimond spell everything out, and everything is tidied up neatly at the end.