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The Xenic Bureau of the Grand Ekumenical Security Directorate investigates rumors of aliens, strange disappearances and anomalous events in the star-spanning empire of this far future tale. Bureau operative Father Jonah Menard is charged with find the truth about the supposed reappearance of the long-lost battleship Enver Hoxha. An alien-killer, Golliwog, is set on Menard's trail in case the rumors are real, while cashiered starship engineer Micah Albrecht holds far more of the truth than even he realizes. This classically styled science fiction adventure leads all three of them on a chase across the empire and into the dangerous heart of old military secrets far better left untouched. They encounter technological wonders, mysterious maybe-aliens, and some good old fashioned political backstabbing along the way to a pyrotechnic ending.

Jay Lake is the author of Green and Mainspring from Tor Books, as well a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards, and winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best New Writer.

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