The war between the alien hydrogues and the faeros rages, reducing suns to blackened shells ' including one of the fabled seven suns of the Ildiran Empire. Instead of protecting themselves, the Ildirans engage in bloody civil war and the many factions of humanity are bitterly divided. Can mankind and Ildirans overcome their own internal fighting to face a deadly new enemy that is ready to annihilate them
Newly ascended to the Ildiran throne, Mage ' Imperator Jora ' h must quash the rebellion launched by his mad brother before the hydrogues destroy what is left of the empire. Assailed from all sides, Jora ' h turns to his beloved half ' human daughter, dispatching her on a desperate mission to make peace with the hydrogues.
Hope for humanity now rests with Jess Tamblyn, who continues to seed worlds with the watery wentals, the mortal enemies of the hydrogues. And on the ravaged planet of Theroc, home to a telepathic worldforest, a dead man is resurrected to prepare for the arrival of mysterious new allies in the fight. But Chairman Basil Wenceslas ' s vendetta against the free ' spirited Roamers has blinded him to a danger closer to home ' the soldier machines that make up the backbone of the Hansa fighting force. King Peter has long suspected that the compies, built with the help of the ancient Klikiss robots, cannot be trusted. Now the shocking proof comes when the Klikiss launch their long ' planned extermination of all things flesh and blood. And in the ensuing battle, humans and Ildirans alike will face their darkest choices yet '
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May 30, 2006
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Excerpt from Scattered Suns by Kevin J. Anderson
Though Admiral Stromo was the ranking officer aboard the prowling Manta cruiser, he let acting commander Elly Ramirez make the day-to-day decisions. It generally worked out better that way. Stromo didn ' t feel the need to throw his weight around, and he liked to keep someone handy to take the fall if anything went wrong.
For decades in the Earth Defense Forces, he had made a career out of delegating responsibility. He rarely participated in active field operations ' he hadn ' t joined the EDF just to put his own butt on the line! ' but sometimes it was useful to do so. Maybe the unqualified success of crushing the main Roamer complex of Rendezvous would be enough to rehabilitate his image as an obsolete desk commander.
Even so, right now Stromo longed to be back at his desk in a comfortable military base on Earth, or at the very least Mars. He ' d never counted on a devastating war with powerful aliens who lived in the cores of gas-giant planets; for that matter, he hadn ' t imagined a conflict with a ragtag bunch of space gypsies, either.
As the Roamer hunt continued for its second week, Stromo watched the newer EDF officers cut their teeth on real line duty. The sooner this fresh crop of battle commanders proved themselves out in the field, the sooner Stromo could get back to his much-preferred Grid 0 liaison duties. With his too-obvious potbelly and his occasional digestive problems, he wasn ' t cut out for this.
' Do we have any valid tactical data on our next target, Commander Ramirez ' he asked, though he had asked the question before. ' What ' s the place called again '
' Hhrenni, sir. '
' Sounds like a horse sneezing. '
' The name comes from old Ildiran starcharts, sir. The EDF has no up-to-date recon, though. '
A frown tugged down his jowly cheeks. ' A failure in our intelligence and surveillance, you think '
' Never any need before, Admiral. It ' s a crappy star system, without many resources. ' Ramirez called up long-range images and dotted-line diagrams showing their best guess of where the secret base might lie. ' Unconfirmed evidence of a cluster of settlement domes in the asteroids. Roamers seem to enjoy living in rubble, sir. '
' If they like rubble so much, then let ' s give them more of it. ' He smiled. ' Just like we did at Rendezvous. '