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In a galactic culture that extends from quasi-Utopian worlds such as New Alexandria to vermin-infested slums like Old Earth, the Star-Pilots have become the great heroes of the day. Grainger has become a legend in his own time, flying the prototype vessel of a new starship.... Having escaped from his contract with Charlot, Grainger is hounded by the Caradoc Commpany, who wants to extract everything from his brain about his former employer. But Charlot has other plans, and Grainger suddenly finds himself back on the Hooded Swan, leading a rescue mission for the Swan's sister ship in the bizarre Nightingale Nebula. This last voyage proves costlier than the previous ones, as Grainger must risk not only his life - but his very soul!
Brian Stableford (1948- )
Brian Stableford is a British science fiction writer who has published more than 70 novels. Born in Shipley, Yorkshire, he graduated with a degree in biology from the University of York In 1969 before going on to do postgraduate research in biology and later psychology. In 1979 he received a Ph.D. with a doctoral thesis on "The Sociology of Science Fiction". His first published story - a collaboration with school friend Craig A. Mackintosh - was "Beyond Time's Aegis" for Science Fantasy in 1965. Much expanded, it was eventually published in book form as Firefly: A Novel of the Far Future (1994). It was with the Grainger/Hooded Swan series that Stableford began to attract serious notice in America.