It is a hundred millennia after Iron Gods. The Spin is at the end of its life and its diminished inhabitants are divided between those who live unknowingly in the relative paradise of one of hundreds of Virtual Realities - ‘vrealities’ - and those who scrape a living in what remains of the real world.
But running the increasingly huge servers needed to maintain the vrealities is draining the last resources of the Spin, leading to conflict between those who tend the servers and those who believe they should simply be switched off, and so killing millions.
There is one individual who divides his time between the real and the vrealities, finds himself caught up in this escalating and seemingly futile war.
Meanwhile, in a remote star system, an ancient insectoid called Skarbo the Horologist observes The Spin. He has been doing so for several lifetimes. But now he notes the accelerating signs of decline in what he unfashionably considers to be a giant complex clock. And Skarbo too is about to die for the very last time.
He had resigned himself to never visiting the object of his studies, but decides to make a last journey - travelling across a war-torn galaxy to what will be his final destination: the Spin.
There he will learn of the artificial system’s past - and its future - while there is one who will discover the real nature of the vrealities - and the part he has to play in their future . .
- Cat. No.