Los Angeles 2047, a city on the eve of the Binary Millennium. Public Defender Mary Choy faces her toughest assignment: to bring back Emanuel Goldsmith - acclaimed poet turned mass killer - from the heart of a Caribbean island about to explode in revolution. But there are others interested in Goldsmith: the sinister Selectors, who use hellcrowns to exact ultimate retribution; Goldsmith's best friend, Richard Fettle, driven to literary inspiration and the edge of madness by the murders; and psychologist Martin Burke, who will journey into Goldsmith's Country of the Mind to find the origins of human evil.
Far away, circling Alpha Centauri, a complex artificial Thinker pilots a scientific probe, intent on finding signs of life, coming to grips with a terrifying loneliness. On Earth, an even more powerful Thinker, nicknamed Jill, contemplates all with its extraordinary mind, waiting to be born.
In one week, crossing the boundaries of the Binary Millennium, they will face their greatest challenge, putting together the pieces of the greatest of all puzzles: the roots of the soul.