Forge of Heaven (Cherryh, C. J.)
C. J. Cherryh
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One of today's bestselling and most critically acclaimed writers of science fiction and fantasy, C. J. Cherryh has been entertaining readers for more than thirty years with beautifully imagined, complex novels of intrigue and adventure. With Hammerfall she began an entirely new universe -- her first in three decades -- and an enthralling tale of mystery and survival on a desert world devastated by nanotechnology. Now she returns to the captivating universe of The Gene Wars in a brilliant, visionary story that reaches from the desert to the stars.
Forge of Heaven
At the far edge of the galaxy, tiny Concord Station holds a unique place in the universe -- the one place where humans from Earth, the strange Outsider worlds, and the extremely powerful, alien ondat all coexist, bound together to the fate of the fragile world below. Scarred by vicious nanotechnology unleashed by the powerful ondat, this lone desert planet acts as the crucible to determine whether there can be peace between the far-spanning empires of the universe, or unending, unstoppable war to rival even the cataclysmic Gene Wars that once devastated untold galaxies.
Born the son of a desert prince, Marak trin Tain knows all too well the knife edge between diplomacy and disaster. Centuries ago he was caught in the battle between the terrorist First Movement and Earth, and the resulting destruction when the ondat sent planet-crushing missiles to prevent contagion from uncontrolled nanotechnology. Now, immortal but not invulnerable, he shepherds the evolving world and its brave inhabitants toward a new future. But this utopia is hardly idyllic, and a journey of discovery becomes one of desperation when a violent act of nature threatens even Marak's own survival.
High above on Concord Station, intrigues andalliances from every faction of Earth and the Outsider colonies fight for influence, while the implacable ondat pursue their own unfathomable goals. In the midst of dangerous collusion, all the watcherProcyon wants is to record the miracles of the planet evolving below, sharing in the undreamed-of wonder of watching a new world grow. But the surprise arrival of a ship from Earth upsets the delicate balance of power on the station, and a deadly attack becomes the opportunity for rebellion. Caught up in a web of danger and intrigue, Procyon will step far beyond his comfortable life into a nightmare of dangers, as plot within plot unravels with disastrous consequences.
For the fate of one man could decide the future of human and alien alike ... and the ondat are watching.
Ondat landed on the world during this period, contacted these aggressively adaptive Movement nanisms, and unknowingly let loose disaster on their own species, a calamitous runaway that spread from them to their homeworld. Ondat went to war; seeing no species or behavioral difference in Movement, Outsiders, or Earth. Earth and Outsider forces understood at least that Movement actions, specifically the Movement intrusion into ondat territory, had touched off this war—and they moved quickly to
and consultations at Concord were always ominous, always, thus far, involving some tension between Earth and the High Council at Apex, several times because of some perceived file:///C|/Documents%20and%20Settings/harry%20kru...20Gene%20Wars%2002%20-%20Forge%20of%20Heaven.html (146 of 912)20-2-2006 21:04:14 Forge of Heaven -- C J Cherryh - Gene Wars 02 - misdeed regarding ondat relations. Well, not at Concord. He’d heard of no problems with his on-station Outsider Council counterpart, the ondat
Outer Worlds Sauvignon, twenty a glass. It was, indeed, middling quality on his own scale, but in the Plane the average customer paid such prices unquestioningly, not for the wine, but for the spectacle of the elegants and the Fashionables, the walking adverts of various upscale emporia—not to mention the grotesques, whose choice was body-sculpting and augmentation of a risky but trend-setting sort. Spider verged on that class. Many successful Stylists did—the difference between Stylist and
hammer came down. And the world became a volcanic hell. The Outsiders continued to transmit new discoveries to ships in orbit—and the ondat seemed to accept their presence on the world so long as that stream of knowledge flowed. Earth didn’t leave the vicinity, nor did the Outsider ship break contact with their team from orbit. Nor did the ondat leave.There were things to learn.There was a lingering threat here to keep an eye on.
happy as long as they had regular reports from Marak Trin Tain, and apparently cared little for communications from the station itself. file:///C|/Documents%20and%20Settings/harry%20kru...20Gene%20Wars%2002%20-%20Forge%20of%20Heaven.html (31 of 912)20-2-2006 21:04:13 Forge of Heaven -- C J Cherryh - Gene Wars 02 - But rumors of immortality scared Earth. Earth, overpopulated as it was, could see social collapse if the immortality modification ever reached the black market… and only the