LIES IN THE BALANCE. . .
The relentless search is on: Find the opal-like sections of a matter
transmitter, scattered across a continent. Without them the only human
colony-planet dies. The pieces are hidden in the vast deserts, tangled
jungles, medieval cities and stark fortresses of this world. They are
defended by fanatics. The fifteen sections are technological
miracle-workers, more precious than fist-sized diamonds in a colony
regressed to the 14th century level. Yet, the various hunters will let
nothing in their way.
Against humanity's questers race the Morkth, space-traveling
xenophobic alien destroyers of Earth. They are determined to destroy all
these human vermin, soon. But first they want the matter-transmitter.
They want it badly, and they destroy anything that tries to stop them.
They have nukes and lasers to the colonists' swords and spears. It's no
All that stands between the Morkth and the destruction of the planet
are three unlikely heroes A street-child thief, a dispossessed and
totally spoiled brat of a sixteen year-old princess, and a confused,
amoral, Morkth-raised human. If they can gather all the transmitter
sections before the Morkth do, then there is a chance of survival. But
the Morkth already have several sections, and the others are lost, or
guarded and hidden It seems like a lost cause... a Forlorn Hope.
But it s all humans have.
Cover art by Larry Gilmore
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and
events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real
people or incidents is purely coincidental.
First printing, September 1999
Distributed by Simon & Schuster
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New York, NY 10020
Printed in the United States of America
Copyright © 1999 by Dave Freer
All rights reserved, including the right to
reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.
A Baen Books Original
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471
Typeset by Windhaven Press
Electronic version by Baen Books