Fifty years hence, Janus, one of the moons of Saturn, suddenly leaves its orbit and starts heading for Spica, 260 light years away. Only the mining ship Rockhopper can intercept what is now apparent as a long-dormant alien artifact and learn something about it. Things go wrong and the ship crash lands on Janus, as it heads towards Spica at near-relativistic speed. The crew splits into factions led by the captain, Bella Lind, and the chief engineer, Svetlana Barseghian, once the best of friends, now implacable enemies.
Reynolds tells an exciting tale of big ideas, hard science, and clashing personalities.