Fleeing the supernova chain reaction at the galactic core, the cowardly Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds have—-just barely—-survived. They've stumbled from one crisis to the next: The rebellion of their human slaves. The relentless questing of the species of Known Space. The spectacular rise of the starfish-like Gw'oth. The onslaught of the genocidal Pak.
Catastrophe looms again as past crises return—-and converge. Who can possibly save the Fleet of Worlds from its greatest peril yet?
Louis Wu? Trapped in the Wunderland civil war, all he wants is to go home—-but the only possible escape will plunge him into unknowable danger.
Ol't'ro? The Gw'oth ensemble mind fled across the stars to establish a colony world free from tyranny. But some problems cannot be left behind, and other problems—-like the Fleet of Worlds itself—-are racing straight at them.
Achilles? Despite past disgrace, the charismatic Puppeteer...