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Downbelow Station(The Alliance-Union Universe)
Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1982, named by Locus Magazine as one of the top 50 science fiction novels of all time in 1987.
The Beyond started with the Stations orbiting the stars nearest Earth.
The Great Circle the interstellar freighters traveled was long but not
unmanageable, and the early Stations were dependent on Mother Earth.
The Earth Company which ran this immense operation reaped incalculable
profits and influenced the affairs of nations.
Then came Pell, the first Station centered around a newly-discovered living planet. The discovery of Pell's world forever altered the power balance of Beyond. Earth was no longer the anchor which kept this vast empire from coming adrift, the one living mote in a sterile universe.
But Pell was just the first living planet. Then came Cyteen, and others, and a new and frighteningly different society grew in the far reaches of space. The importance of Earth faded and the Company reaped ever smaller profits as the economic focus of space turned outward. but the powerful Earth fleet was still a presence in the Beyond, and Pell Station was about to become the final stronghold in a titanic struggle between the vast, dynamic forces of the rebel Union and those whe defended Earth's last desperate grasps for the stars.