In these twenty-these thematically linked stories Stephen Baxter explores our relationship with the universe. Are we truly alone ? If there are other intelligent species, have they turned their back on the stars, or is expansion itself destined to fail ? Perhaps the universe we know is an elaborate illusion that protects us from a more fearful reality. These ideas and many paradoxes between tome alive in the hands of the most acclaimed and brilliant science fiction writer of the present day.