Born from the threat of nuclear weapons comes a program to build an impenetrable defense against them. The technical obstacles are enormous, the costs exorbitant, and the results dubious. Philip Quine didn't come to the Lab to work on weapons, but his expertise with X-rays leads him to Superbright, in theory an orbital battle-station to shoot down missiles, in reality little more than spotty test data. Superbright is only the beginning, as Quine is drawn further away from the pure physics he set out to do and deeper into the machinations of those who would use the Lab for their own monetary or ideological advantage. Radiance is a brilliant and entertaining exposé of the way in which the bright hopes and fond dreams of talented scientists are turned on the grindstone of political expediency until all that remains are the rough deceptions of self and nation.