From the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of The Martian Child: “This playful, intricate game of survival . . . is one of Gerrold’s best books.” —Publishers Weekly
The human race has been played for a fool. Though welcomed into the galactic community and given access to the combined knowledge of thousands of intelligent species, humans are largely regarded as an evolutionary mistake. Reptilian, insectoid, and other unclassifiable species are the dominant forms of intelligence. If it hadn’t been for that annoying comet, the dinosaurs would have continued their evolutionary journey to sentience. Instead the ridiculous mammalians survived. And they want to be treated as equals.
Now the humans find out that the Galactic Encyclopedia has a user fee—and they are overdrawn! If the debt can’t be paid, humanity will be sold as slaves . . . or food. Asst. Liaison Officer Yake Singh Browne feels personally betrayed. He comes up with a strategy: If humanity can’t win playing by the rules of the game, he’ll just have to change the rules.
“Taut and well-constructed, providing a convincing glimpse of alien biology and psychology . . . A good yarn.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Gerrold has written a fine but demanding science-fiction novel . . . Those with perseverance will enjoy the story’s campy humor and unexpected plot twists.” —School Library Journal