Augustine, a brilliant ageing scientist, is fascinated by the stars. For years he has scanned the universe, trying to quantify infinity, to find that first moment in history. When news of a catastrophic event arrives at the remote research centre in the Arctic Circle where he works, he elects to stay behind. But shortly after the last airlift departs, Augustine discovers a child - Iris. She rarely speaks but hums an eerie tune.
In spite of the observatory's state-of-the-art equipment, Augustine is unable to establish contact with the outside world; all communication has gone dark.
Time means very little in deep space. Mission Specialist Sullivan, a divorced astronaut and mother, is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. They are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and it has changed the crew.
At last Sully feels at peace with the sacrifices she has made, a tiny and intrinsic piece of a universe beyond her comprehension. But suddenly, inexplicably, the Aether loses all contact with Mission Control.
In a vacuum of information, the crew must determine the best course of action. Faced with the cold, barren sweep of the Arctic and the vast silence of space, what will they do next, and how will they survive?
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Desolation and recriminations at the end of time