What we have is a wonderfully rich and complex tale that happily flips between giving the mind something to weighty mull over and pleasing its baser, thrill-seeking desires -- Jonnie Bryant (Deathray)
If there's a more enjoyable and provocative sci-fi action saga this year, we'll be seriously surprised. -- Saxon Bullock (SFX)
A very political novel about the conflicts between the military and civilians, between the war and post-war generations, and balancing truth and reconciliation. -- Anthony Brown (Starburst)
A terrible war once raged between the two rival planets within a distant solar system. Over the centuries their human inhabitants had ‘adapted’ themselves to the extremely different conditions of their new homes, far outside Polity influence..
In the midst of this merciless conflict, one side encountered a bizarre object suspected of being a cosmic superstring employed as a new weapon by the rival side. Their attack on it caused the object to collapse into four parts, each found to be packed either with alien technology or some unknown form of life. Pending further study, these were quickly encased inside four separate Ozark cylinders, and stored in a massively secure space station in orbit.
Sometime later, while conducting research on this alien entity they now call ‘the Worm’, a female scientist falls pregnant and susequently gives birth to quads. She then inexplicably commits suicide by walking directly out into space…
The war was finally brought to an end by use of new weapons arising as a result of research of the Worm. These were employed by giant space dreadnoughts nicknamed ‘hilldiggers’ –– and their destructive power created new mountain ranges out of the vanquished planet’s terrain. Twenty years after the dust has settled, those four exceptionally talented orphans have grown up to assume varying degrees of power and influence within a post-war society.
And one of this exceptional breed now seems determined to gain total control over the deadly hilldiggers. But why?
Foreign and old covers: