Hugo Award Finalist: A mystery at the heart of a desert planet and its ruling class must be solved in this thrilling tale from a Grand Master of Science Fiction.
Brion Brandd has just triumphed in the planetary contest called the “Twenties, ”a series of physical and mental trials meant to push contestants to their limits. But before he can fully recover from these tests, he’s recruited by former Twenties champion Ihjel for a mission of utmost importance.
Brandd and Ihjel travel to the hellish desert planet of Dis, where the ruling class, known as the magter, have suddenly begun acting wildly aggressive and unpredictable, threatening the peace in the region. With a nuclear blockade surrounding Dis, Brandd and Ihjel are sent planetside to investigate.
Their pursuit will not be easy, for while the magter have seemingly lost their senses, the local population lives in total harmony with the brutal surroundings. What is it that separates the classes, yet also connects them? In this suspenseful novel by the author of Deathworld, Brandd will have to call on all of his formidable skills and gifts to uncover the truth—before both sides are annihilated.
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Harry Harrison (1925–2012) began writing science fiction in the 1950s and remains one of the top-selling authors in the genre. Harrison is best known for his Stainless Steel Rat, Deathworld, and West of End series, as well as Make Room! Make Room!, which was turned into the movie Soylent Green starring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson. His novels have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and in 2009 he was awarded the Damon Knight SF Grand Master Award by the Science Fiction Writers of America.