Set in the far future world of humanity’s intergalactic Second Empire, Colonel Nathan MacKinnie, mercenary and former rising star in the Empire’s Navy, is given a secret – and dangerous – assignment by the governor of his home planet Prince Samual’s World. MacKinnie is to accompany the Empire’s Navy ship on a routine trip to the technologically backward planet Makassar and return with some carefully guarded documents that may contain instructions on building a spaceship (technology forbidden by the Empire to Prince Samual’s World).
MacKinnie undertakes this mission of deception and danger to Makassar, with many unexpected consequences. This novel is set in the same universe and approximate time frame as THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE.
"Jerry Pournelle is one of science fiction's greatest storytellers."
- Poul Anderson
"Jerry Pournelle's trademark is first-rate action against well-realized backgrounds of hard science and hardball politics."
- David Drake, author of HAMMER'S SLAMMERS
On FOOTFALL: "Rousing ... The Best of the Genre"
- The New York Times
On LUCIFER'S HAMMER: "A megaton of suspenseful excitement."
- Library Journal
Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017) was the author of the popular Janissaries and CoDominium series and co-author with Larry Niven of several bestselling science fiction novels including INFERNO, FOOTFALL, LUCIFER’S HAMMER, OATH OF FEALTY, THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE, THE GRIPPING HAND, THE BURNING CITY, BURNING TOWER and ESCAPE FROM HELL. He collaborated with both Larry Niven and Steven Barnes on THE LEGACY OF HEOROT, BEOWULF’S CHILDREN, and other works. Dr. Pournelle held advanced degrees in engineering, political science, statistics and psychology. As an aerospace Systems Analyst he participated in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Following a brief tour in academia he was the Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Los Angeles. He was the Science Editor for Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine, and a past president of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He wrote columns on political and technology issues for decades, in addition to his career as a fiction writer. His columns for Byte magazine were an internet staple for many years. Dr. Pournelle was involved in the development of government policy on space enterprises and defense, and he was active on several committees for the advancement of science and space exploration. He was Chairman of the Reagan “kitchen cabinet” Citizen’s Advisory Committee on National Space Policy, and frequently participated in conferences on the future of technology.