Ace Lieutenant Dominic Flandry was not a man easily swayed from his duty to the Empire; not, that is, until galactic vice king Leon Ammon offered him a million-credit bribe, a voluptuous woman called Djana, and a chance to explore a dark and treasure-laden moon.
Yet within the desolate peaks and valleys of that strange world of ice and shadows, Flandry found more than he had bargained for. Supposedly barren, the planet swarmed with a hideous race of strange, inhuman creatures, infernally controlled by a deranged and brilliant computer brain. Each, like a piece in a bizarre and vicious chess game, was programmed to kill. And although Flandry did not know it - so was the woman he loved.
Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was born in Pennsylvania of Scandinavian stock. He started publishing science fiction in 1947 and became one the great figures in the genre, serving as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America, winning multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, and was named a SFWA Grand Master. He collaborated regularly with wife, Karen, and their daughter is married to noted SF writer Greg Bear. Poul Anderson died in July 2001.