In the brilliant new hard SF novel from Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author Paul McAuley, a war between human and posthuman civilisations is about to erupt.
From the Inside Flap
In the system of Fomalhaut, a war is being fought. The Quicks came long ago, refugees from the Solar System, technologically advanced and, for the moment, safe. The True arrived later, to find a declining civilisation and a system ripe for the taking. Then the Ghosts appeared, no longer human, unknowable, powerful and determined to drive out the Quick and the True. The battle continues, but the outcome is uncertain...
In a damaged and perilous Brazil, The Child lives with her mother and nursemaid, kept safe from the risks of the rainforest. Precocious and dangerous, her childhood will define the future. But control of her story has been lost, and she will find her own path through the darkness around her.
Isak and the Horse, in endless Hells as punishment for a failure they will never live down, receive a summons. A mission has been found for them, one which will lead them into the dangerous politics of the Fomalhaut system, and into the most deadly Hell of all. The Library has been compromised, and that impossibility might mean the end of the world
On the skin of the Whale, suspended far above the planet Cthuga's surface, the Quick slaves remotely control drones and bots but have no freedom of their own. Ori dreams of flight, but there is no escape from her slavery - until the Ghosts attack the Whale. In the ensuing battle she sees a sprite in the corner of her mind, and comes to the attention of someone - or something - with a deadly plan.
These three lives will intersect, because there is something at the centre of Cthuga, something dangerous and growing and powerful. Something that is worth fighting for. And it will change everybody's life.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.