It’s been almost 500 years since humanity first ventured into space, hopeful and eager to explore, to discover, to find alien civilizations and friends. There was just one problem. After exploring 22 star systems, humans had found no other life. Not no other intelligent life, but no other life at all. Period. Eventually exploration just stopped, because you can only be disappointed so many times before you turn back inward, and just try to get on with things. And then one day there was a signal, a signal no one wanted to believe was real. No one except one hopeful, sarcastic and professionally drunken 487 year old ex-spacer who, with his 42 year old girlfriend and a rag-tag bunch of semi-reprobate friends, sets out to steal a mothballed spaceship and find the source. Humor, intrigue, romance, inter-species warfare, and one hundred and twenty five thousand, three hundred and fourteen pair of shoes ensue. And the universe, for humans, will change forever.