High crimes call for high punishment.
It is the twenty-first century. Convicts are sentenced to asteroids that move
in ever-widening solar orbits, timed to return then their terms run out. But
a few ambitious administrators discover that small "errors" in velocity
can rid them of selected groups altogether: the hardcore violent, the mentally
defective, and especially the political dissidents. Enduring the black vise
of interstellar space-time, these human rejects - men and women mixed together
- create their own Darwinian societies, struggling to survive.
Back on Earth, a handful of sympathetic and curious scientists have not forgotten
these lost citizens. When a technological breakthrough makes it possible to
overtake these scattered asteroids, a courageous team sets out to go where none
has willingly gone before. What they discover in these "brute orbits"
is both provocative and moving - a startling vision of humanity you will never