Adrift in a seemingly pointless existence, the last policeman in the tiny lunar colony goes through his routines with the kind of persistence that bespeaks either peace of mind or quiet depression. He drinks his coffee, eats his doughnut, files his reports (“crimes reported: zero”) – and he sits in his cruiser, staring at Earth. Gauld’s style is contemplative and understated: His noodle-limbed people and gunmetal landscapes look silly or simple, but also impenetrable. The book’s meticulous pacing, like a silent-film comedy, makes much of the way that the colony declines, watching as a way of life gets altered and chipped away at – the cop’s few remaining neighbours gradually opt to head back home, while housing units disappear and clunky computers try to do human jobs, badly. With bemused resignation, Gauld envisions what our sad future is bound to look like – modular, bare, utilitarian – but he also tries to preserve some sense of modest wonder at what we’ve achieved, however it’s been cheapened, and however it’s been ground down into routine.