An inhabited planet is not what an interplanetary mining company hopes to find while in search of rare mineral deposits, but the low-tech natives should be won over by a few ‘miracles’, right? Emily Nandi, the mining company’s legally mandated xenologist, isn’t so sure. The planet’s social structures are complex, fascinating and frustrating – she advocates research and caution rather than the seat-of-the-pants first contact the company president wants.
Investigator Shadow is convinced ghosts are watching him until a fellow investigator disappears, plucked from his harduk’s back without a trace. When he reappears at the city gates, naked, half-frozen and ill, he brings back a harrowing tale of strangers on a ship high above the planet.
From this shaky beginning, suspicion and misunderstanding fuel one culture-clash driven disaster after another, punctuated by apocalyptic prophesies from the oracle, Telluris. This is no way to get to know one’s long-lost cousins from Earth.
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books