On the brink of extinction, a suicide mission is humanity’s last hope.
The Gifts of an alien race called the Spinners gave Peter Alander hope for the future of humanity. All the Gifts did, though, was draw down the wrath of the Starfish, another alien race apparently intent on wiping out all forms of competition. Caught between the two, humanity faces the hard decision of evolving into something else entirely simply to survive.
As their new alien allies prepare to leave human space forever, a handful of survivors band together to make one last attempt to communicate with their enemies. A single ship will leap into the very heart of the Starfish fleet, attempting to find reason where none exists…
“Space opera can be a very comforting, cozy mode, with its interstellar empires and royalty and guilds. But when dramatic Darwinian forces are brought into play, as here, space opera can become a kind of bracing, near-apocalyptic tale.” —Paul di Filippo
“A melodramatic (or space-operatic) take on Stapledon, a grittier, bleaker take on Clarke…. a vision very different from the triumphalism of traditional SF adventure, but its darkness seems entirely appropriate to the twenty-first century we actually inhabit.” —Locus
Nominated for the Aurealis Award.