It's 2026, and the Alpha Centauri supernova has risen like a second sun, rushing Earth toward its last summer. Floods, fires, starvation and disease paralyze the planet. A flash of gamma rays has destroyed all microchips worldwide, leaving an already devastated Earth without communications, transportation, weaponry or medicine.
The disaster sets three groups of survivors on separate quests. A militant cult seizes the opportunity to free their leader from her long court-mandated coma. Three cancer patients also search for a man in judicial sleep: the brilliant scientist - and monstrous criminal - who alone can continue the experimental treatment that keeps them alive. From a far greater distance come the survivors of the first manned Mars expedition, struggling homeward to a world that has changed far beyond their darkest fears. And standing at the crossroads is one man, U.S. President Saul Steinmetz, who faces a crucial decision that will affect the fate of his own people... and the world.