"As always, [Stephen] Baxter plays with space and time with consummate skill. . . . He continues to be one of the leading writers of hard science fiction, and one of the most thought-provoking as well."-Science Fiction Chronicle The year is 2020. Fueled by an insatiable curiosity, Reid Malenfant ventures to the far edge of the solar system, where he discovers a strange artifact left behind by an alien civilization: A gateway that functions as a kind of quantum transporter, allowing virtually instantaneous travel over the vast distances of interstellar space. What lies on the other side of the gateway? Malenfant decides to find out. Yet he will soon be faced with an impossible choice that will push him beyond terror, beyond sanity, beyond humanity itself. Meanwhile on Earth the Japanese scientist Nemoto fears her worst nightmares are coming true. Startling discoveries reveal that the Moon, Venus, even Mars once thrived with life-life that was snuffed out not just once but many times, in cycles of birth and destruction. And the next chilling cycle is set to begin again . . . "When the travel bug bites and usual planets don't excite, perhaps it's time to burst the bounds of this old solar system and really see the sights. . . . Baxter's expansive new novel is just the ticket."-The Washington Times "Breathtaking in its originality and scope."-The Washington Post
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