By Paul J. McAuley
Fomalhaut used to be first colonised by way of the posthuman quickly, who confirmed an archipelago of thistledown towns and edenic worldlets in the star's great airborne dirt and dust belt. Their peaceable, decadent civilisation used to be quickly conquered by means of a band of ruthless, competitive, unreconstructed people who name themselves the real, then, a century ahead of, the real push back an improve get together of Ghosts, a posthuman cult which colonised the within reach process of Beta Hydri after being pushed from the sun method 1000 years in the past. Now the Ghosts have again to Fomalhaut, to start their finish online game: the conquest of its unmarried fuel titanic planet, a captured interstellar wanderer some distance older than the remainder of Fomalhaut's procedure. At its middle is a sphere of scorching metal hydrogen with unusual and strong homes in response to unique quantum physics. the short think it's inhabited by way of an historic alien brain; the genuine think it may be built right into a weapon, and the Ghosts think it may be reworked right into a computational method so robust it will possibly succeed in into their previous, cave in timelines, and fulfil the traditional prophecies in their founder.