In the early years of the 1940s, as the nation's young men ship off to combat, a city springs up, seemingly overnight in the fields of Oklahoma: the Van Damme airplane factory, a gargantuan complex dedicated to the construction of the necessary machinery of warfare. Labourers - mostly women - flock to this place, enticed by the opportunity to be something more than wife and homemaker. For Vi, fleeing a dying ranch; for Connie, following an unfaithful husband; for Diane, leaving behind the hot music and soldier boys to pursue something different, adult, and real; their journeys will be liberating in ways they couldn't previously imagine, and will lead each of them to Prosper Olander - disabled artist, forger, friend, lover, and the true heart and soul of the temporary city - who will change their lives in profound and unexpected ways.
John Crowley was born in 1942 and has worked in documentary films and TV since 1966. The Deep, his first SF novel, was published in 1975 and was followed by Beasts, Engine Summer and Great Work of Time. In his later work, Little, Big, Aegypt and Love and Sleep, he has moved into writing fantasy to great critical acclaim.