A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.
In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible the Children of the Next Level and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.
A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from other sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA's interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.
And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.
Caitlín R Kiernan is the author of science fiction and dark fantasy works, including multiple novels (The Drowning Girl, The Red Tree, and Agents of Dreamland); many comic books; and more than two hundred published short stories, novellas, and vignettes. She is also the author of scientific papers in the field of paleontology. She has won numerous awards, including two World Fantasy Awards, two Bram Stoker Awards, and a James Tiptree Jr. Award.
Max Gladstone went to Yale, where he wrote a short story that became a finalist in the Writers of the Future competition. He is the author of the Craft Sequence: Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, Full Fathom Five, Last First Snow, and Four Roads Cross. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.