cover image Extremis


Steve White and Charles E. Gannon. Baen, $14 trade paper (640p) ISBN 978-1-4391-3433-7

White and Gannon continue the space opera epic of 2006's Exodus (by White and Shirley Meier) with this vivid novel. The Baldies, refugees from a sun that has gone nova, have reached their long-anticipated destination, the planet Bellerophon, recently settled by humans. The telepathic Baldies, who remember their past lives, cannot come to grips with the idea of mind-mute sentients that only live once; their increasingly militant warrior caste advocates extermination. As Ankaht, a Baldy scientist-philosopher, attempts to bridge the gap that inhibits mutual understanding, pressures from off-planet naval forces and indigenous resistance fighters drive the Baldy militants to desperate extremes and estrange them from their own culture. Ankaht and her allies must overcome mutual suspicion to restore the balance before one species destroys the other. Battle sequences mingle with thought-provoking exegesis on what it means to be a sentient and moral being. (May)