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Elizabeth Hand


Year 1997
Publisher Voyager  (Harper Collins)
ISBN 0006480276



The world gives birth to a new millennium ...
It is 1999.  The Last Days, say some; The First, claim others.  The climate is clearly warming, the evening skies are awash in dreamy, multi-coloured lights, and underground cults are preparing for the frenzy of all frenzies - The Night of the Thousand Years.

Still-born or new-born?
Jack Finnegan, the world's last literary publisher, is dying of AIDS; Trip Marlowe, VR rock star, is dying from too many mind-expanding excursions courtesy of IZE; and Leonard Thrope is coming to town with his wonderful life-restoring elixir.

Who cares?  It's time to party.
Trippy sex, new age revivals and the hottest hallucinogens the imagination can buy - it must be the time of the Glimmering.




'A potent socio-erotic story for our looming Millennium ... Hand's high-resolution narrative never falters.'
William Gibson


Christmas Tree Cluster



Credit: NASA

Stellar Snowflake Cluster
Newborn stars, hidden behind thick dust, are revealed in this image of a section of the Christmas Tree Cluster from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The newly revealed infant stars appear as pink and red specks toward the center and appear to have formed in regularly spaced intervals along linear structures in a configuration that resembles the spokes of a wheel or the pattern of a snowflake. Hence, astronomers have nicknamed this the "Snowflake Cluster."

Star-forming clouds like this one are dynamic and evolving structures. Since the stars trace the straight line pattern of spokes of a wheel, scientists believe that these are newborn stars, or "protostars." At a mere 100,000 years old, these infant structures have yet to "crawl" away from their location of birth. Over time, the natural drifting motions of each star will break this order, and the snowflake design will be no more.

While most of the visible-light stars that give the Christmas Tree Cluster its name and triangular shape do not shine brightly in Spitzer's infrared eyes, all of the stars forming from this dusty cloud are considered part of the cluster.

Like a dusty cosmic finger pointing up to the newborn clusters, Spitzer also illuminates the optically dark and dense Cone Nebula, the tip of which can be seen towards the bottom left corner of the image

NASA Image of the day archive






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