London

Present Day

Millions of people – complicated, crazy, beautiful people – crammed into a sprawling patchwork of terraces, tower blocks, mansions, maisonettes, metrolands, bedsits, buy-to-lets and thin tin cans rumbling up and down commuter lines that might as well be home to hundreds of thousands, gathered by fate and circumstance and countless of accidents of history in one barely-stable space, conversing, conflicting, aggressively ignoring each other on the tube, forming a buzzing cloud of hopes and wishes and fears and anxieties and sometimes just bone-idle boredom.

And linking this hazy electric field of thought, keeping it all together in spite of its blatant instability, is the String.

It is the String that records the permutations and aberrations the human mind inflicts on the cause-and-effect world around it, the relativistic world that people on instinct refuse to be bound by. The String that should underpin an orderly universe instead turned into the means by which the greedy and the ambitious exploit the fragility of that universe. Only the mad notice the String is there, and out of sight the mischievous secretly warp the world to their own twisted ends, safe in the knowledge that no one will ever believe the few that notice their plans.

Not that being considered a nutcase ever stopped Nancy Brilligan.

Nancy Brilligan, fearless defender of relativity against the Malign Forces of Randomness (and all around odd person), stalks the streets of London on the hunt for quantum irregularities. On the run from the police and derided by the sensible, she has maintained a constant vigil in the face of the world’s scepticism.

Simar Qareen, a young Hackney schoolgirl, finds herself inexorably drawn into Nancy’s crazy world against her better judgement, as she and everything she cares about is sucked into a dark conspiracy that grants her undreamt-of abilities at the expense of her own sanity.