Lyta and Carl are astronomy grad students who hardly know each other and are trying to figure out their lives. Arbitrarily thrown together on a project, they make a surprising discovery: an unobtrusive light in the sky shows signs of being an alien spacecraft. As they study the object more closely, they start receiving a stream of information that creates an unexpected bond with it, each other, their government, and ultimately humanity as a whole. Their story mixes first-contact science fiction, romantic drama, and technological thriller, as they negotiate the difficult questions their discoveries raise, and the extreme reactions the answers cause in others.
Their unique status, as sources of otherwise unobtainable knowledge, causes others to vilify them, revere them, or try to take permanent possession of them, but the biggest question still remains: In a world full of opportunities and responsibilities, what is the best way to live their lives?
The cover picture is "Dream of a Starry Sky" by Tama Wang.