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Artemis, a world named for a huntress goddess, colonised by a group of political idealists who over the centuries saw their dreams of equality shatter into a brutal matriarchy.
After the events of The Monstrous Regiment, Corinna Trotgarden, her family and friends, and other refugees, have fled the feared city of Silven Crescent and travelled north to an unhabited area, which they have named Freespace. To Corinna’s intense irritation, she is regarded by the community as one of its leaders.
The Freespacers are unaware that for the first time in many years the government of Artemis has been in contact with the outside world, and an interstellar tour company has sent a representative, Zy Larrigan, to check the planet out for possible commercial exploitation. Larrigan’s flyer begins to behave strangely as he moves further away from Silven Crescent, and bizarre events occur in Freespace, which lead Corinna and others to recall tales of the mysterious Greylids – Artemis’ indigenous population, reduced almost to the status of myth. Something terrible and inexplicable is happening, which the Freespacers fear puts their fragile community into peril.
When Zy Larrigan is propelled uncompromisingly into their midst, the Freespacers know for sure they are not alone, but is the mysterious presence that haunts the ancient caves and mountains above their home benign or dangerous? Perhaps it is both. It is up to Corinna to overcome the mental scars of all that happened to her in Silven Crescent and, along with the bemused off-worlder, do what must be done to solve the mystery, whatever the outcome.
Originally published in 1991, this new edition of Storm Constantine’s sf novel has been re-edited for its Immanion Press release.