Expansion: The History of the Galaxy
From book 1
Earth is suffering from the consequences of an environmental catastrophe. Cities the size of continents are drowning in a toxic industrial fog.
Max Bourne is a typical teenager. Like billions of other people, he is forced to live in the protective shell of the individual life support module. His habitat is the virtual Layer. But one day, circumstances force the young man to leave the in-mode. He has no idea that fate will lead him through unimaginable hardships, bring him face to face with military AIs, and teach him to survive in the distant Outlands. He will come to understand that the sum of all technologies, possessed by the four leading corporations of Earth, can either open the way to the stars or destroy human civilization.