Invariably involved in a desperate struggle to say something significant, Bishop now posits a future Atlanta, Georgia--a huge domed and tiered city ruled (not to say regimented) by the Ortho-Urban Church. This unlikely New Jerusalem is still full of crime and injustice, yet there is much of honest worth in the gaudy pop religion of the city. Bishop's elaborate plot has seven visiting aliens from Cygnus throwing the community into a murderous uproar by being first converted to the Ortho-Urban faith and then ordained as ministers in it. The protagonists are a girl seminarian and a young reporter, whose curious dealings with the aliens reveal that the ""Cygnoskoi"" are intimately bound up with the destiny of all human souls. There is much here of muddled perplexity and wooden self-importance. There is also much that is compassionate, witty, and radiant.