After roving through space for centuries, a starship unburdens its cargo of human embryos on a harsh new world. They quickly grow to maturity in the ship’s artificial womb. A lifetime of Earth memories is programmed into their dreams.
But before their indoctrination is complete, an alien intruder infiltrates and destroys the system…and the reason for their odyssey is never learned.
Now, on a verdant island surrounded by quicksand, Othman, wanderer, dreamer, and self-proclaimed leader of the Earthling band, builds a mighty bridge to span the ocean of molten mud that keeps them from the world beyond.
He has to face the deadly toll his quest will take on the delicate ecology of the planet—or the revolt of his beautiful, strong-willed wife, Silandi. And he has yet to discover the hidden knowledge locked deep within their hearts.
Earth’s new order has declared non-productivity a crime—dooming Johnsmith Biberkopf to life imprisonment in a Martian penal colony. Sentenced to a life of never-ending toil and despair, he seeks escape in the hallucinogenic power of “onees”—a government-banned substance that will lead Biberkopf through the portals of a strange and timeless dimension where ancient Viking ships sail the cosmos…and illusions become uniquely, terrifyingly real.