A first contact unlike any other
When those strange entities called "humans" sent their first exploration ship into Compact space, the delicate power balances of the seven races of the Compact were catastrophically disrupted. And by giving shelter to Tully, the only human survivor of his mission, Pyanfar Chanur, captian of the merchant vessel "The Pride of Chanur", jeopardizes the safety of her ship and het crew, placing them in the center of a political mealstrom – inadverdent key players in a power game which could cause an interspecies war or, conversely, enfold humanity, a previously unknown sentient species, into the protective arms of the Compact.
Now, with a new fleet of human ships approaching Compact space, Meetpoint and other Compact stations nearly destroyed by rival factions, the hani unwillingly "allied" with the devious and untrustworthy kif, and forced to doubt their longtime comrades, the mahendo'sat, Pyanfar and her crew facethe ultimate threat to their species. For the hani home planet lies in the path of an impending space battle which may wipe the very memory of their world from the galactic maps. Will Pyanfar be able to avert disaster for her homeworld and win herself the ultimate reward – a treasure beyond measuring – an exclusive trade contract with Earth?
C. J. Cherryh (born 1942) is the pen name of Carolyn Janice Cherry, a multiple-award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer. She currently resides in Spokane County, Washington.
Cherryh is pronounced ”Cherry”. The author appended a silent ”h” to her real name because her first editor felt that ”Cherry” sounded too much like a romance writer.
The asteroid 77185 Cherryh has been named in her honour.