Farside, the side of the moon that never faces Earth, is
the ideal location for an astronomical observatory. It is also the setting for
a tangled web of politics, personal ambition, love, jealousy, and murder.
Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth-sized planet
circling a star some thirty light-years away. The race is on to obtain
photographs and spectra that show whether or not the planet is truly like
Earth—and if it bears life. Farside observatory will have the largest optical
telescope in the solar system, as well as a vast array of radio antennas—the
most sensitive radio telescope possible, insulated from the interference of
Earth’s radio chatter by a thousand kilometers of the moon’s solid mass.
Building the Farside observatory is a complex and often
dangerous task. On the airless surface of the moon—under constant bombardment
by hard radiation and infalling micrometeoroids—builders must work in
cumbersome spacesuits and use robotic machines as much as possible. Breakdowns,
both mechanical and emotional, are commonplace. Accidents happen, some of them
fatal. But what they ultimately find will stun everyone, and the human race
will never be the same.
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