"On a par with Ursula LeGuin or Arthur C. Clarke."--Chicago Tribune
"A magnificent novel.a colossal achievement.an instant contemporary classic."--Science Fiction Review
"A.SF masterpiece."--Kim Stanley Robinson
When the Styths, a powerful and aggressive race of mutants from Uranus and Saturn, launch pirate raids on ships from Mars, Earth's Committee for the Revolution sets out to negotiate peace. The task falls to the resourceful and unpredictable Paula Mendoza. The initial meetings hold little hope for success--until Paula adopts a less conventional approach and appears to obtain her objective. But, the consequences for Paula prove considerable, when she finds herself on the floating cities of the Gas Planets, the tenuous, and only, link between Earth and the Styth Empire.A profoundly moving portrait of one determined and strong-willed woman.