From the introduction:
Ten years ago, the powers of Earth and their many solar colonies erupted into vicious, system-wide war. With terrible weapons at their disposal, both sides reduced every planet and moon to irradiated dustballs. Years of mass starvation and deprivation later, survivors strain out a living by scavenging what remains on derelict ships, stations, and bases. We, the “heirs” of Earth, have become vultures of the vast, lonely void. We pick over the carrion of a golden age of plenty, when Humanity had the luxury of building whatever we desired.