The spaces between space are full of dragons. The colonists on Guera went mad--one of the plague of mutations that affected all human colonies and drove Earth back from the stars--but their controlled madness meant that they and they alone could cope with hyperspace, could ask the Earth humans they and other new human species hate for past betrayal back into space. But a virus is infecting the human-machine interfaces by which they live and stay sane, and Earth's racists are the prime suspects. Meanwhile, Jamisia, the subject of endless experiments and host to a myriad of alternate personalities, flees Earth's bloody corporate politics in pursuit of safe haven--and everyone wants a piece of her. The hacker known as Phoenix just wants revenge on the makers of the virus for the death of friends. |
C.S. Friedman's galaxy full of altered humanities and vicious politics has room in it for tenderness and honor; this is a satisfying space opera because it is full of characters, some of whom will do the right thing. She is good on what stays the same when things change--the austere, mad, security expert Masada and the sweet slob Phoenix are recognizable types, but attractively individualized.
Source: Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk.
In the first age of Earth's colonization of space, the FTL drive that powered the starships caused severe genetic damage in the colonists. Generations later, a new mutant race arises, one which can safely conduct people between the stars. But since they use their ability to tightly control all interstellar commerce, rival interests soon seek to break the monopoly. An when a lab-raised young woman narrowly escapes kidnapping, even as a rogue computer virus wreaks havoc on the interstellar "Net," she must flee into "alien shores", evading her persuers while attempting to uncover the secrets of her own existence.