Arthur C. Clarke Award: Best Novel nominee (1987).
Set centuries in the future, Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand is a saga of political intrigue and personal struggle that unfolds against a vast and varried interstellar tomorrow.
Rat Korga was a virtual slave on a planet terrified of all knowledge, where he led a life completely devoted to the most demanding physical labor. But when that planet is destroyed, Korga is rescued and and thrust into public attention by the Web, a shadowy organization that controls the flow of information between worlds. Identified with the long-dead tyrant Vondramach Okk, Korga develops a charisma capable of commanding the attention of billions of people.
Heir to all the advantages of a high data culture, Marq Dyeth is an industrial diplomat who has traveled between the stars since the age of ten. He comes from an old and respected "nurture stream," of humans and aliens both, and though hundreds of years ago his seven-times great grandmother had been a spy for Vondramach Okk, his name now stands for all that is new and noble in this dazzling, egalitarian future.
The unlikely bond between Rat Korga and Marq Dyeth becomes an explosive destabilizing factor in the struggle between two rival factions, the Family and the Sygn, for control of interstellar society – while a mysterious alien race, who already may have destroyed all life on one planet, draws nearer and nearer to theirs...