The city of Loreto, hanging in the atmosphere of Jupiter, has seen better days as a trading port.
By the late 22nd century, it's become a hive of borderline illegal activity, but also a magnet for bohemian types from across the Jupiter colonies. Ashton Lang, a psychically gifted scholarship student from Europa, is looking forward to spending her summer working in the city - until her only friend there, struggling artist Winter DeMattis, receives a grant and disappears off to Io, leaving Ashton to fend for herself.
Winter is on Io to research a dull public commission, but the trip will change her life irrevocably. Meanwhile Magic Alex - a minister in a church which worships The Beatles - is trying to find who has framed him for the murder of his blackmailer, a quest which brings him into contact with artificial savant Tomas Darrell.
Tomas is new in town after losing his job on Callisto, but in Loreto he finds a new purpose: proving his suspicion that the entire city is doomed.