When the oppressive global dictatorship of Pax took over Earth they put a stop to space exploration. Still, a few rebels escaped in the sleeper ships to found free new colonies -- or perish in the attempt. Those few colonists that reached inhabitable worlds were cut off for centuries, and in that isolation and freedom they developed the mysterious mental powers that ''civilization'' had all but destroyed.
made their way down the bank to the edge of the stream, Sssuri splashing in ankle-deep for the sheer pleasure of feeling liquid curl about his feet and legs once more.
Water dwellers fled from their passing and insects buzzed and hovered. Otherwise they moved through a deserted world. The stream bed widened and small islands of gravel, swept together in untidy piles by the spring floods, arose dry topped, some already showing the green of venturesome plants.
"Here--" Sssuri stopped, thrusting the butt of his spear into the shore of one such islet. He dropped cross-legged on his choice, there to remain patiently until those he sought would come with the dark. Dalgard withdrew a little way downstream and took up a similar post. The runners were shy, not easy to approach. And they would come more readily if Sssuri were alone.
Here the murmur of the stream was loud, rising above the rustle of the wind-driven grass. And the night was coming fast as the sun, hidden by the cliff wall, sank into
Although this science fiction novel was written in the 1950s, it is still very readable, today. Andre Norton concentrates on her characters (but there's plenty of action to drive it along) which means that the technology here, as imagined in the 1950s, doesn't date it too much.
This adventure, pigeon-holed as a juvenile's novel by some, takes place on a world where a new survey ship has arrived from Earth. Down below, is a war-devastated civilisation. The races that co-exist outside the few remaining populated cities have developed telepathy - including some humans from a long ago colony ship - and can communicate with some species of wild animals - which comes in useful as the story evolves.
As in most good science fiction stories, what follows is a stuggle that will decide the future of the entire planet.
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2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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