Ape-like and with one arm replaced by a claw, the not-quite-human Angelo and his beautiful female partner Ariadne are genetically bred rescuers programmed to travel vast distances through space in suspended animation to bring back Pioneers - explorers sent out from Earth generations ago to settle other planets. The latest mission is to rescue Pioneer Murray from the planet La Plage and to return to Earth where - as usual - decades have passed while they have been travelling between the stars.
But Earth itself has gone through a catastrophic collapse from which its burnt-out civilization is trying to recover. And amongst the remnants of a sterile and despairing humanity, there is less room than ever before for such strange creatures as Angelo.
Combining rich and weird alien environments with exciting deep-space adventure, Pioneers is a brilliant novel of love and alienation in a strange and poignant future.
Phillip Mann was born in 1942 and studied English and Drama at Manchester University and later in California. He worked in the New China News Agency in Beijing for two years but has lived in New Zealand since 1969, working as a theatre critic, drama teacher and university Reader in Drama. As well as writing novels, he has written a number of plays and stories for Radio New Zealand.