Should one not have the time, one can eventually figure out what Bear is talking about through context clues, but it took me about a good half of the book until I was confident I understood what all of these things were. Once I got past this, I really could appreciate the book more.
The book takes place at some future date, presumably several hundred years or so from now, after a nuclear war with Russia. This nuclear war is referred to as both the Death and as the Sundering. Apparently an extremely large hollowed out asteroid called Thistledown, which is also referred to throughout the book as the Stone and also as the Potato, is in orbit around Earth. Humans have colonized this asteroid and it seems as if most of the wealthier humans, known as the Geshels, live there. Thistledown holds the gateway to a faster than light highway of sorts, that allows transportation between planets, galaxies, universes, and even through time. This "highway" is known as the Way.Read more ›