Joe Haldeman


Jacque LeFavre is a Tamer, a member of the elite squad that opens new planets to humanity. Jacque's father was a well-known scientist until the Levant-Meyer translation came along to give the stars to Mankind and destroy their comfortable lives as an academic family.

But the L/M translation has a snag! There's a definite correlation between the power of a translation and the length of time you get to stay at your destination. And should you eat any native foodstuffs they'll go straight back home at the same time as you stayed at that destination. Along with any other molecules they might now be part of.

Anyway, Groombridge is a new world with few difficulties to cause problems to a new team so Jacque and his team-mates are sent there to undertake a first survey. But nothing is as simple as it seems and Groombridge is also a muddy world as the team find out when they land. But it's not the mud that becomes Groombridge's claim to fame! There's not much life but that squidgy looking thing had more about it than you might guess. After finding their team-mate dead, Jacque worked out that the little thing acted as a telepathic amplifier.

The mindbridges would have had little utility apart from a scientific curiosity, for they forced anyone attempting dissection to cut the wrong target and if you had a high psi ability and you linked to a mindbridge you ought to really seriously consider making out a will. However humanity became aware of the L'vrai - aliens of unknown nature and apparently hostile. There seemed to be little point of contact until someone thought of using Jacque and a mindbridge as a contact medium.

What the L'vrai tell mankind startles those who are listening and leads to a great change in society for those who are willing to believe.

This is a Gollancz Classic Science Fiction edition

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