In an age when disease has been all but eradicated, Jimson has cancer. If he stays on New Terrian, it can be treated; if he makes a faster-than-light jump through the Hype, he can visit new worlds and rediscover old lovers, but the cancer will metastasize and kill him. A Different Light is a looseknit travelogue composed of small, vivid details rendered in Lynn's deceptively terse style, seemingly undirected but with a distinct focus: the nature of one man's identity as formed by his relationships, his body, his mind, and his choices--the persistence of self for a man whose self is especially limited by the standards of his society. It's an uneven effort: forgettable plot, Lynn's brevity fails to invoke Jimson's identity as artist, the worldbuilding is both patchy and heavy-handed; it's also a dense and intensely thoughtful little book. Lynn writes racial and sexual diversity with grace; Jimson's illness is not so deftly handled, but his mortality and social isolation is convincing--and so while his attempts to achieve persistence are often disposable, the desire which motivates them resonates. There are stronger and more successful books, and while this has many of Lynn's trademarks it is not her best, but A Different Light lingered with me, if more for the thoughts it has than the actions it commits, and in that regard I consider it a success and recommend it.