Before the hyper-space vessels could go from planet to planet, stations had to be set up. And that meant manned spaceships cut off from Earth for decades.
The explorer vessel Ariadne had gone toward galactic centre and was considered lost – until its call came in appealing for a xenobiologist.
Their new world was all swamp. As far as could be seen, there was no intelligent species. Yes, this was alarming because all inhabitable planets so far discovered had thinking inhabitants.
But the nature of that planet’s “people” turned out to be an enigma that had to be solved. For their alien biology could spell doom to all the civilizations of the stars … doom or a terrible unity!
Brian Stableford (1948- )
Brian Stableford is a British science fiction writer who has published more than 70 novels. Born in Shipley, Yorkshire, he graduated with a degree in biology from the University of York In 1969 before going on to do postgraduate research in biology and later psychology. In 1979 he received a Ph.D. with a doctoral thesis on “The Sociology of Science Fiction”.
His first published story – a collaboration with school friend Craig A. Mackintosh – was “Beyond Time’s Aegis” for Science Fantasy in 1965. Much expanded, it was eventually published in book form as Firefly: A Novel of the Far Future (1994). It was with the Grainger/Hooded Swan series that Stableford began to attract serious notice in America.