In this absorbing and unique novel, Kathryn Lance asks how far the folly of mankind can go, how much science can be substituted for nature before the imbalance proves disastrous. In a world of the future, great machines lie rusting as their fuel has finally run out and humanity faces the possibility of extinction as altered strands of DNA run rampant through the gene pool. Several forces emerge, each hoping to be humanity's saving grace, but which one will ultimately save the world? The Principal: a brilliant leader fighting to keep a tide of savagery from decimating social structures. The religious cultists: operating on an anti-science platform, promising to rebuild society according to an older, pure model free of the technology that proved to be mankind's downfall. The Garden: a group of female scientists who live cloistered lives, searching for genetic solutions to the world's problems. Two young lovers are caught in a situation they cannot control, desperate to find a way to be together forever.