Could Her Death Save a World?
From the author of the bestselling After the Polothians comes a dazzling novel of art, science and human passions. Fifty years after settling a small, icy world, but a single city has been established, on the south shore of a great lake. The colonists must still work 12/7 with only three days off each year because an unrealistic government's plans have kept the world from becoming a success. Then the suicide of the popular state artist, Ruby, sets off a series of interactions among those who knew her that threatens to turn the planet upside down. John Throde, who was her lover a quarter century earlier, is losing his job as manager of an ill-fated iron mine that is the victim of government bungling. Eta Plain, supervisor of the state artists, dreams of opening a gallery to sell Ruby's art, except that art galleries don't fit into the government's cultural plans. Merrik Frhan suffers from deep-rooted guilt: Though he now sees all the government has done wrong, as one of the former heads of the government, he is the one who instituted its policy of iron rule. When John Throde learns that Ruby has named him her heir and left him her work, these three are brought together. Soon Merrik Frhan has proposed a plan to prove the government's incompetence by gathering a group of investors to purchase the mine outright. Eta will keep an eye on the investors' interests and John will have the freehand he needs to run the mine efficiently and show a profit. But none of the three brought together by Ruby's death has been completely honest with the others; and when they meet again the stage is set for a stunning climax when the physical, social and personal forces tearing their world apart are all unleashed at once.