Jan Kulozik, following the events of Homeworld, has been exiled to a farming planet, Halvmork, where the peasant tribal families live and farm for four years in the twilight zone, before the sun rises and scorches the planet. Then they must pack everything and move to the new twilight zone at the opposite end of the planet's axis to begin the four year cycle over again.
The grain grown on the planet is collected by spaceship and used to feed the starving worlds of the galaxy. The people of Halvmork depend on these ships to bring them supplies of other goods – the governments of Earth have ensured that no planet is self-sufficient, so none dare rebel. But this year the ships don't come, signifying that great changes are occurring in the outside galaxy from which they are cut off.
Jan decides they should carry the grain with them to the new twilight zone, it is a valuable commodity, and will provide them with something to bargain with when the ships finally do come. He must organise the sluggish farmers into agreeing his survival plan, and stay on the right side of the all powerful family heads. The story follows the dangerous journey of the people of Hlavmork as their wagon train treks from one end of the planet to the other.
Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey, 1925–2012) was an American science fiction (SF) author, best known for his character the Stainless Steel Rat and for his novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966). The latter was the rough basis for the motion picture Soylent Green (1973). Harrison was (with Brian Aldiss) the co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group.
Aldiss called him "a constant peer and great family friend". His friend Michael Carroll said, "Imagine Pirates of the Caribbean or Raiders of the Lost Ark, and picture them as science-fiction novels. They're rip-roaring adventures, but they're stories with a lot of heart."
Novelist Christopher Priest wrote in an obituary, "Harrison was an extremely ... (more)