The second and concluding volume of Ian Watson's extraordinary epic, The Book of Mana. Kaleva is Earth's first and only interstellar colony, discovered by Lucky Sariola who was transported there by an Ukko, a mysterious asteriod-like entity that responds to stories told to it - in Lucky's case, those of her Finnish grandmother. Now Queen Lucky, half-mad and newly widowed, is obsessed by relocating that Ukko - but this is potentially disastrous, as the snakelike alien Isi are also on its trail as part of their design to enslave humans. Understanding this, one of Lucky's daughters (with obsessions of her own) crowns herself rival queen. A summer turns into unseasonable winter and elysian peace turns to bitter civil war and Ukko, once more, has a role to play in the history of Kaleva.
Ian Watson (1943 - )Ian Watson was born in England in 1943 and graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with a first class Honours degree in English Literature. He lectured in English in Tanzania (1965-1967) and Tokyo (1967-1970) before beginning to publish SF with "Roof Garden Under Saturn" for the influential New Worlds magazine in 1969. He became a full-time writer in 1976, following the success of his debut novel The Embedding. His work has been frequently shortlisted for the Hugo and Nebula Awards and he has won the BSFA Award twice. From 1990 to 1991 he worked full-time with Stanley Kubrick on story development for the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence, directed after Kubrick's death by Steven Spielberg; for which he is acknowledged in the credits for Screen Story. Ian Watson lives in Spain.