Strange things were happening on the icy planet called Petaybee. Unauthorized genetically engineered species had been spotted, while some people were simply disappearing. None of the locals were talking to the company, so the company sent disabled combat veteran Yanaba Maddock to spy. But a strange thing happened. With her relocation to the arctic planet came a return of Yana's health and strength. And the more she got to know the people of Petaybee, the more determined she became to protect her new home.... From the Paperback edition.
A frontier society outwits a big, uncaring parent company in this appealing joint venture by McCaffrey ( Damia's Children ) and Scarborough ( The Healer's War ), the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning representatives of two generations of science fiction writers. Major Yanaba Maddock, medically retired with severely damaged lungs after military action aboard a space station, is pressured into acting as a spy by her employer, the sinister Intergal corporation. Colonel Giancarlo, local head of psychological operations, seeks evidence that colonists on the bitterly cold and inhospitable planet Petaybee are abducting company geological survey teams, engaging in illegal genetic engineering and plotting rebellion. Yana finds the locals charming, helpful and uncannily effective as healers; their home remedies salvage her ruined lungs. As the company and its forces move in to quell what they perceive as rebellion, Yana casts her lot with the Petaybeans and geneticist Sean Shongili, the man she has come to love. Perceptive characterizations and a vivid depiction of a nurturing culture integrated with nature make up for the somewhat hackneyed plot. (July) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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November 30, 2005
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Excerpt from Powers That Be by Anne McCaffrey
Stifling in the crowded processing center of Petaybee's spaceport, Yanaba Maddock eyed the side door as a drowner would eye a drifting spar. Unobtrusively making her way to it, she hoped it wasn't locked. It was, but the lock was not proof against the skills she had acquired in her years as a company soldier, investigator, explorer, training officer, and, most recently, long-term resident of a medical facility. Automatically checking to see if her activity was being noticed, Yana slid the door open just wide enough to accommodate her thin body. She paused to pull on her gloves: she had been warned in the briefing -- and she always took briefings seriously -- of the danger of bare skin sticking to frozen surfaces.
For a moment she leaned back against the slide panel, to secure it in case she had been observed. Then the cold air hit her.
She knew from previous cold-weather training not to inhale the freezing blast that whipped around the corner of the building and slammed into her face.
"The temp-er-actch-chur of Planet, Terraformation B, commonly called Petaybee, at certain locations during certain points in time during the winter can range as low as minus two hundred degrees fare-in-height," the computer aboard the shuttle from ship to port had cautioned. "That's cold, troops. Do not touch metal objects with your unprotected epy-dur-mus. Do not run, or the air will freeze into small icicles in your lungs and lacerate them. Wear or carry your winter gear with you at all times. Do not count on a nice warm vehicle for warmth. For one thing, there is a shortage of nice warm vehicles on Petaybee, because machinery that doesn't freeze and crack in the extreme cold is expensive. For another thing, even the expensive equipment breaks down, and you may find yourself stranded. The temper-atch-chur at Kilcoole SpaceBase today is minus fifty degrees fare-in-height. Some of the locals have been known to regard this as relatively tropical by comparison with what they consider real winter. Bear in mind that summer to these same individuals consists of two months of fairly constant daylight as warm as fifty-five to sixty degrees above zero, still twelve to seventeen degrees colder than regulation shipboard settings of seventy-two degrees. So button up your outer gear, 'cause the wind blows free, and take good care of yourselves, remembering at all times that your ass belongs to the company. That is all."
Yana had smiled to hear the computer briefing given in the gruff voice and speech patterns of a senior NCO, but she was no more inclined to ignore the warning than she would have been had it been issued by a flesh-and-blood top sergeant. Minus two hundred, huh? Good thing she'd gotten here during a "heat wave." Icicles lacerating her already trashed lungs would do nothing for her convalescence.