By Alan Dean Foster

Del Rey Books, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780345418630, 304pp.

Publication Date: May 29, 2001

Chosen by "Science Fiction Chronicle" as One of the Best Books of the Year
"Bestselling author Alan Dean Foster has written an exciting Humanx Commonwealth adventure that delves deeper into the fragile early years when humans made first contact in this unforgettable world . . .
In the second half of the twenty-fourth century, diplomatic relations proceed cautiously between thranx and humans. But the insectlike beings are nearly forgotten with the sudden discovery of an ideal planet to colonize-Argus V-and the startling appearance of a new race of space-faring aliens. People are dazzled by the beautiful, glamorous pitar. Then tragedy strikes.
The entire human population on Argus V is brutally slaughtered. Not a single clue remains to identify the unseen executioners. But from a tiny inner moon of Argus V comes a faint signal. On that insignificant chunk of rubble lies the key to the crime-setting in motion a cataclysmic chain of events with deadly consequences for thranx, pitar, and human alike. For their worlds will be changed forever by a colossal battle that is their future and their destiny . . .

About the Author
ALAN DEAN FOSTER has written in a variety of genres, in-cluding hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: The Approaching Storm, as well as novelizations of several films including Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first science fiction work ever to do so. Foster and his wife, JoAnn Oxley, live in Prescott, Arizona, in a house built of brick that was salvaged from an early-twentieth-century miners brothel.