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...
Julie E. Czerneda (born 1955) is a Canadian science fiction and fantasy author. She has written several science fiction novels, including the Prix Aurora winner In the Company of Others, a number of short stories. She has also edited several anthologies.
Julie E. Czerneda has won several of Canada's prestigious Aurora Awards, was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, and made the Nebula preliminary nomination list with her second novel.