Book IV of Cities In Flight. Earth is finished as a galactic power. From the heart of the Milky Way come the first tentative strands of the Web of Hercules: the strange culture that is destined to be the next great civilisation of the galaxy. All of this was of little concern to the contented citizens of New Earth, secure in their corner of the Great Magellanic Cloud. Only Amalfi dreams restlessly of the old nomadic days. But then an old friend returns, bringing some unimaginably bad news…Cover art by Chris Foss.