A future North America is divided between rival criminal gangs the Syndic on the East Coast and the Mob in Chicago, who have driven the federal government into exile in Iceland, Ireland and other North Atlantic islands. Life has more or less returned to normal in Syndic territory — as long as protection money is paid on time. The rest of the world has collapsed into either peasant life or tribalism.
This science fiction novel takes place in the year 2203. A rogue planet, populated by strange machines known as Pyramids, has stolen the Earth from the Solar system, taking it off into interstellar space. The global population has crashed to a hundred million, due largely to the radical climate changes that followed the arrival of the alien planet. Most of the surviving humans are 'Citizens,' passive people living lives bound up with elaborate social rituals, various styles of meditation, and carefully prescribed selflessness.