Maj Thovold has led the Galaxy for three decades, a Golden Age of peace and prosperity. She is weary and ready to resign, but two pieces of unfinished business remain. The first is her choice of a successor; the second, an old enemy that only she has the power to defeat... if anyone can.
Once, Brin Lütken and Catherine Leonov were the unquestioned rulers of the galaxy. Then Maj Thovold came, and their power evaporated. For thirty years they have made their plans and laid their traps... and now it is time for the last battle, in the strangest battlefield known...
Tendrils stretch across lightyears, superconducting flashes of current; habitable regions hang suspended in the biospheres of newborn stars, with pockets of oxy-nitrogen and oxy-helium and water; apparently free-floating globules connect with the body of the Web by diamond threads, responding to light, heat, gravity, magnetism like colossal, fragile sensory organs – and somewhere in the unexplored cubic parsecs of the Web are rumored huge lumps of tissue that resemble neural or circuit patterns, great brains the size of continents, dreaming their own visions imcomprehensible to the maggots that crawl among their far-flung strands...
Don Sakers was launched the same month as Sputnik One, so it was perhaps inevitable that he should become a science fiction writer. A Navy brat by birth, he spent his childhood in such far-off lands as Japan, Scotland, Hawaii, and California. In California, rather like a latter-day Mowgli, he was raised by dogs.
As a writer and editor, he has explored the thoughts of sapient trees (The Leaves of October), brought ghosts to life (Carmen Miranda's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three, Baen 1989), and beaten the "Cold Equations" scenario ("The Cold Solution," Analog 7/91, voted best short story of the year.)
Sakers is a member of the CoastLine SF Writers Group. He has taught sf-writing through Howard Community ... (more)