Cover: Michael Whelan.
IT IS THE SECOND AGE OF SPACE COLONIZATION...
The first age, humanity's initial attempt to people the stars, ended in disaster when it was discovered that Earth's original superluminal drive did permanent genetic damage to all who used it — mutating Earth's far-flung colonists in mind and body.
Now, one of Earth's first colonies — a world called Guera — has given humanity back the stars, but at a high price. For the new Outships can only be piloted by members of Guera's Outspace Guild, whose mysterious abilities allow them to monopolize galactic transportation, giving them control over all human commerce.
Powerful companies from dozens of planets vie to be the first to topple Guera's stranglehold on the stars, for to unseat the Guild would be worth any risk.
And on Shido Habitat, a corporate satellite in Earth's outer orbit, lives a girl named Jamisia. Protected by her biological brainware systems, and accompanied by the many voices in her head, she has grown into a resourceful, if unusual, young woman. When Shido is viciously attacked by corporate raiders, Jamisia flees to a ship bound for the Up-and-Out. But this narrow escape does not mean safety for Jamisia. Speeding across the galaxy pursued by ruthless but unknown adversaries, Jamisia must unravel the mystery of her identity and her importance, This odyssey of self-discovery will lead her to uncover a secret which is buried deep within her psyche — a revelation the universe may not be ready to face...
Celia S. Friedman (born 1957) is a science fiction and fantasy author. She has been a voracious reader from her earliest days and began writing at the age of thirteen. She studied then taught costume design at university but now writes full-time and teaches a creative writing course at a local high school.