Two centuries ago the genocidal Planetary Directorate ruled the colony world of Eridan until insurgents used a stolen atomic weapon to bring it crashing down. The surviving colonists built a radically new human society based on mental technologies, guarded from surviving Directorate war machines by the warrior mystics of the Halka. Now six battle-drones have lunged out of Eridan's wilderness to attack a frontier settlement. The sole survivor carries a terrible secret locked in the depths of his mind. His desperate quest for knowledge brings him face to face with an ancient conspiracy that could destroy the Eridan colony - or bring another world to life.
John Michael gives an overview of the book:
The hand lens counted as one of the lesser Halka tools, but it had an ancient place in the traditions of the order. Through Stefan's, the gray-violet fur of meadowmoss became a mass of featherlike shapes mixed with long fungoidal threads and the buds of mossflowers. The tips of the feathers...yes, they curled back as though scorched, and the few uncurled tips had gone pale. Halka used that trace during the Insurgency, when the battle-drones they hunted were not battered remnants washed out of old mudslides and river sands but the pride and chief strength of a dying civilization; the fighters against Shalsha learned to read the subtlest of clues, or died themselves. That degree of skill saw little use in these more peaceful times, to be sure, but the Halka preserved the old lore, and not only in books. Stefan moved the lens to two other patches of meadowmoss. Both showed the telltale marks of lifter-field burn, and since lifter fields were among the banned technologies that meant, had to mean, a battle-drone.
About John Michael
Born in the gritty Navy town of Bremerton, Washington and raised in the south Seattle suburbs, I began writing about as soon as I could hold a pencil. SF editor George Scithers' dictum that all would-be writers have a million words of so of bad prose in them, and have to...