Nick Jenkins works with a group of engineers on asteroid Freedonia, attempting to build the first CT reactor. A contraterrene matter (CT, or antimatter) reactor will provide enough power for the entire solar system, freeing people from the tyranny of limited fission power monopoly controlled by the Interplanet corporation. A surprise attack on Freedonia by unknown attackers results disables the entire staff save for Nick Jenkins. The entire staff, including Jenkins, is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. They will all die within two weeks.
Now it up to Nick Jenkins to track down the attackers, prevent the outbreak of a CT war, and finish the CT reactor in order to provide free power to the solar system. And he must do so before he dies of radiation sickness.
Jack Williamson (1908 - 2006)
John Stewart 'Jack' Williamson was born in Arizona in 1908 and raised in an isolated New Mexico farmstead. After the Second World War, he acquired degrees in English at the Eastern New Mexico University, joining the faculty there in 1960 and remaining affiliated with the school for the rest of his life. Williamson sold his first story at the age of 20 - the beginning of a long, productive and successful career, which started in the pulps, took in the Golden Age and extended right into his nineties. He was the second author, after Robert A. Heinlein, to be named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by SFWA, and by far the oldest recipient of the Hugo (2001, aged 93) and Nebula (2002, aged 94) awards. A significant voice in SF for over six decades, Jack Williamson is credited with inventing the terms 'terraforming' and 'genetic engineering'. He died in 2006.