Robbie Coyle is an imaginative kid. He wants so badly to become Scotlands first cosmonaut that he tries to teach himself Russian and trains for space exploration in the cupboard under the sink. But the place to which his fantasies later take him is far from the safety of his suburban childhood. In a communist state, in a closed, bleak town, the mysterious Red Star heralds his discovery of cruelty and of love, and the possibility that the most passionate of dreams may only be a chimera . . .