Last year, I mentioned Roger Penrose's new book about how the end of the universe might become the start of a universe (sort of a cycling universe but not caused by the now pretty much discarded idea of a Big Crunch.)
Peter Woit now has a review of it out, and he discusses the whole idea in his blog. As someone who does not like wildly speculative physics, it is to be expected he may make an observation like this:
Attempts to get a Big Bang in our future as well as our past generally strike me as motivated by a very human desire to see in the global structure of the universe the same cyclic pattern of death and rebirth that govern human existence. To me though, deeper understanding of the universe leads to unexpected structures, fascinating precisely because of how alien they are to human concerns and experience. Just because we might find a cold, empty universe an unappealing future doesn’t mean that that’s not where things are headed.People should remember that Tipler thinks advanced intelligence will make the universe contract, although I forget exactly how, and don't have time to check again right now.