Bestselling science fiction superstars Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle combine their talents with those of Steven Barnes in an extraordinary adventure of humankind's first outpost in the farthest reaches of space.
Light years from Earth, colonists land on a planet they name Avalon. It seems like a paradise—until native creatures savagely attack. It will take every bit of intelligence, courage, and military-style discipline to survive....
Leaving Earth, the crew of the spaceship Discipline prepared for a routine colonization assignment. What they weren't prepared for was the smoke ring: an immense, gaseous envelope that had formed around a neutron star directly in their path. The Smoke Ring was home to a variety of plant and animal life-forms evolved to thrive in conditions of continual free-fall. When the Discipline encountered it, something went wrong. The crew abandoned...