Twenty-five years ago there was a great interplanetary war in the Solar System. It was a suicidal spasm in which terrible weapons were created and used; in which nine billion people were killed. The rivalries that led to the war are not gone. And a few of those deadly weapons remain–some still orbiting the sun in the debris of destroyed ships, some deliberately placed in storage.
Now Cyrus Mobarak, the man who perfected the fusion engine, is determined to bring human settlement to the protected seas of Europa. Opposing him is Hilda Brandt, Europa's administrator. And caught between them are three remarkable young people: Jon Perry, Camille Hamilton, and Wilsa Sheer.
Charles Sheffield returns to the Solar System of his novel Cold As Ice, to spin a tale of the years immediately following the Great War, a horrifying spasm that was over in weeks, but killed half the human race.
Lola Belman was a refugee. She and her younger brother were on one of the last ships to leave Earth as the bombs beganto fall; by the time they left lunar orbit, they were orphans. Lola is now practicing as a therapist on Ganymede, and she has a new patient whose past is a mystery.
During those yars of chaos, many records were lost and histories forgotten, and it was an ideal time for anyone who wanted to conceal his or her identity. Now there is a small, dangerous group who will stop at nothing to keep Lola from exploring the past and discovering their existence.
The Solar System is finally recovering from the Great War ñ a war that devastated the planets and nearly wiped out the human race ñ and the population of the outer moons, orbiting Jupiter and Saturn, is growing.
On one of those moons, Alex Ligon, scion of a great interplanetary trading family has developed a wonderfully accurate new population model, and cannot wait until the newly reconstituted "Seine," the interlinked network of computers that spans the planets and moons and asteroids, comes back on line. But when it does, and he extends his perfect model a century into the future, it predicts the complete destruction of the human race.
On another moon, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence goes on, undaunted by generations of failure. And to her amazement, Millie Wu, a young genius newly recruited to the project, has found a signal . . . a signal that is coming from outside the solar system.
And in his new retreat on a minor moon of Saturn, the cranky genius Rustam Battacharyia is still collecting weapons from the Great War. He thinks he may have stumbled on an unexpected new one . . . but heíll need to disarm it before it destroys the Sun.
Born to a crack cocaine-addicted mother who abandoned him, Job Napoleon Salk would live to survive the horrors of a corruptly-run orphanage, life on the streets--even first love. But could he survive the dreaded TANDI, the toxic, nuclear disposal unit for all of America's "unwanted?"
From the absurd to the sublime, the universe according to Sheffield
In Which You Will Encounter
A Politician Who Discovers The Artful Art of Thought-control
A Natural Philosopher Who Invents The Steamship -- In Ancient Persia!
Erasmus Darwin, Brilliant Grandfather of Charles, In An Excitingly Different Kind Of Fantasy -- Or Is It Really Science Fiction
The Incredible Waldo Burmeister, Star Of Thermodynamic Dieting And The Martian Sewer System
Structured by an astounding range of scientific knowledge, here are some of the most entertaining flights of the imagination on which you will ever book passage, from the viewpoint of one of the most astonishing minds you will ever meet.