In the Company of Others

by Julie E. Czerneda
Release date: 2001
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fictionspace opera

Prix Aurora Award winner (2002). Nebula Award nominee (2002).

When humans set out to explore the universe, they found a number of planets suitable for colonizing. The one thing they didn't find was intelligent life. And so the terraforming of worlds began, with eager immigrant families temporarily housed in space stations till their new home planets were ready.

But the technicians made one all-important mistake by introducing the alien Quill to worlds where they did not belong. The Quill were supposed to be destroyed when the crews finished their work, but some survived, multipled, and mutated till they were no longer harmless. They were deadly.

Suddenly mankind was in retreat, leaving colonists stranded in space. In the ensuing chaos many stations failed. For the surviviors, the only hope lay in finding a way to wipe out the Quill. Earth scientist, Dr. Gail Smith, thought one special human, Aaron Pardell, might hold the answer. Found as a baby and raised by a stationer in the "Outsider" settlement that clung to Thromberg Station, Aaron may have survived Quill contact. Still, finding Aaron and winning his help might be the least of Dr. Smith's problems...

(updated 2017-01-18)

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