The twenty-year Earth-Mars war was finally over. What was left of Earth - its crumbled cities, its ruined farmlands - were firmly and completely under the rule of the Martian Archon. And this powerful planetary ruler was taking no chances: he intended to reduce the Terrans to a society of primitive agricultural tribes in less than a generation!
But for David Arnfeld, ex-spaceman and Earth Base Commander, there was something in the whole set-up which did not ring true. Why had both sides muffed countless chances to end that awful war in the first year or two And why had the two planets gone to war in the first place
In the back of Arnfeld's mind an idea was growing...perhaps there was yet a chance to save the doomed population of Earth. But if his idea was true, and proof was available, he had to work fast. Too many people were involved in this War of the Two Worlds to let one man upset their plans.
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.