Several generations after Dagney Beynac and other humans settle on the moon, social, political, and economic strife is on the rise between the Lunarians, genetically altered descendants of these first human settlers, and the rest of the human race. A struggle for Lunarian independence is thwarted by the cybercosm, a sort of cosmic Big Brother of linked artificial intelligence that likes the status quo. The key to gaining independence, one Lunarian leader believes, is to be found in the uncovering of an astronomical find kept shielded for centuries by the cybercosm and the descendants of Beynac, a discovery dating from the earliest days of lunar colonization. Two intrepid humans, Aleka Kame and Ian Kenmuir, agree to take on the challenge of exposing the secret, and their adventures take them to earth cultures transformed by political and technological upheaval, and the passage of time. Meanwhile, the reader is taken back in time, to the first century of lunar colonization, to the creation of the Lunarian race, and the discovery in space that drives this other quest, centuries later. Anderson (Harvest of Stars, 1993, etc.) demonstrates once again his powerful storytelling talents, and betrays once again his tendency to hang far too much political, sociological, and technological baggage on the shining thread of the tale.