A new novel in the popular and exciting science fiction Liaden Universe® series. Over a half million Liaden Universe® books sold with an audience that keeps growing! Beset by the angry remnants of the Department of the Interior, challenged at every turn by opportunists on their new homeworld of Surebleak, and somewhat low on funds, Clan Korval desperately needs to reestablish its position as one of the top trading clans in known space. To this end, Master Trader Shan yos'Galan, aboard Korval's premier trade ship, Dutiful Passage, is on a mission to establish new business associations and to build a strong primary route that links well with existing Loops and secondary routes.
But reestablishing trade and preserving the lives of the few remaining members of the clan aren't all of Korval's problems. For instance, there's the untrained, deteriorating, and illegal AI that needs to be brought under control before it goes full rogue and destroys a space station. Then, of course, there's the Uncle, a serially-cloned mastermind with interests of his own, who has temporary custody of two of Korval's precious elders. Not to mention whatever it is that Korval's damned meddling Tree may be up to.
Matters come to a head as Dutiful Passage, accustomed to being welcomed and feted at those ports on its call-list, finds itself denied docking, and blacklisted, while agents of the DOI mount armed attacks on others of Korval's traders, under the very eyes of port security systems.
Traveling with Dutiful Passage on this unsettling journey is Padi yos'Galan, the master trader's heir and his apprentice. Padi is eager to make up for time lost due to Korval's unpleasantness with the Department of the Interior. She is also keeping a secret so intense that her coming of age, and perhaps her very life, is threatened by it.
Steve Miller was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1950. He graduated high school in 1968, attended University of Maryland Baltimore County a couple times, where he was news editor of the campus newspaper, The Retriever, active in the chess club and founding president of the Infinity Circle, the school's first science fiction club. In between bouts of being a student, he was curator of the Albin O. Kuhn Library's science fiction collection.
In no particular order he has been a reviewer – of music, of books and of typewriters – a reporter, an editor, a professional chess tournament director, a librarian, an editor, a sysop, an editor and a resource specialist for a statewide electronic bulletin board system.
In 1973 he ... (more)