A prequel to A Fire Upon the Deep, this is the story of Pham Nuwen, a small cog in the interstellar trading fleet of the Queng Ho.
Both they and the Emergents are orbiting Arachna, a dormant planet which will shortly wake up when its On/Off star relights after decades of darkness.
Both groups hope to exploit the coming age of technology and commerce on Arachna. But while the Queng Ho seek only to trade aggressively, the Emergents plans are far more sinister, amounting to little short of genocide…
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