Inveigled into a survey of botanical art on Versimmon, Bernice is disappointed to get bogged down in an unseasonal cold spell - and to discover that Ruth has some radical ideas about how the living archive should be managed.
Why is a hailstorm bringing back memories of a war two generations gone? Where are Versimmon's first animals appearing from? And who can Bernice trust on a planet full of budding artists?
As the forest world is bombarded by ice and the collection’s guards start disappearing, the archaeologists find themselves getting back to their roots and branching out into local politics. All the time, the weather on Versimmon is changing, and its inhabitants will find that revolutionary times demand revolutionary works of art...
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