A voyage and an adventure as sublime as any in the history of the universe. Aaron Schoenfeld has parlayed a Ph.D. in the philosophy of science and a sharp tongue into an improbable second career as director of a project to plan and execute the first interstellar voyage. The trip to Alpha Centauri will take many years and might end up being a one-way journey for the crew. His old acquaintance Jack Lumet may be the unlikely source of an answer. An anthropologist obsessed with the myths of Native Americans, he once wrote a paper about Wise Oak, an Iroquois sachem who claimed to have ridden a cosmic version of the Hudson, a tidal river that flows both ways, to the stars and back. In a world where money for space journeys is hard to come by, even a slightly mad theory that suggests a possible shortcut to the stars is an attractive possibility for the people who believe more in humanity's destiny among the stars than they do in safety considerations, minimal risks, or taking no for an answer.