Ace, Jan 2005, 24.95, 528 pp.
In the year 2031, two events change the earth as we have known it. The sun moves into a different position and two rings made of photonic energy encircle the earth from the north to south poles and around the equator. The geography of the earth changed as land bases are torn apart and sent into a sea that is vastly depleted due to the rings. Billions die.
By 2051, with food in short supply, much of the United States population is indentured to the agricultural collectives. Many of the remainder are Tools, people that are part machine. General Sutherland effectively runs the country and is responsible for integrating his daughter to CUSP (Controllable Universal Sentient Plasma) causing her to go post point (the next step in evolution). The general knows that the rings are firing up as is the jet in the sun so that the journey to alpha centaury can be made. The hope of earth surviving what is coming rests on the shoulder of a woman who is no longer human but something much more.
There is a lot of advanced science research used for some of the concepts in the book.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner