* The novel opens with a mad scientist, Isaac, in bed with his insect wife Lin. Outside, the streets are buzzing with open air markets and the noise of the morning. Lin asks Isaac to buy her some pigment for her paintings, and the two begin making love.
* At work, Isaac is a lecturer at the university physics department. While in his office, he is approached by a strange creature with wooden wings, who requests that Isaac restore his ability to fly. Isaac claims that he is not a traditional scientist, but once the sack of gold is in his hands, he cannot refuse.
* Isaac spends the rest of his day in the university library researching what he will need to restore the creature's flight. Meanwhile, Lin is also commissioned by a new client - a mutant that wants a life-sized model of himself. Although Lin...
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