Vanessa Smith looked like any normal seventeen year old girl. But Vanessa wasn't normal at all.
She possessed extraordinary telepathic powers - and in the 1990s telepathy was the ultimate weapon in psychological warfare. Vanessa, along with other gifted children, was virtually a prisoner at Random Hill Residential School, developing her abilities for Government exploitation.
So when she escaped, Vanessa became a political embarrassment. Questions were asked by the Opposition. It was vital for the Prime Minister, the ruthlessly dictatorial Sir Joseph Humbolt, that everything that marked Vanessa's existence should be erased. And orders were given that she should be hunted down - using telepaths like herself - and destroyed.
Edmund Cooper (1926 - 1982)
Edmund Cooper was born in Cheshire in 1926. He served in the Merchant navy towards the end of the Second World War and trained as a teacher after its end. He began to publish SF stories in 1951 and produced a considerable amount of short fiction throughout the '50s, moving on, by the end of that decade, to the novels for which he is chiefly remembered. His works displayed perhaps a bleaker view of the future than many of his contemporaries', frequently utilising post-apocalyptic settings. In addition to writing novels, Edmund Cooper reviewed science fiction for the Sunday Times from 1967 until his death in 1982.