|Hodder paperback, first printing, 1971. Cover painting by Chris Foss.|
"The devastated Earth had only a handful of inhabitants - now even their future was in balance
The Twenty-Second Century had been and gone - and with it, the worst war in the bloody history of mankind: the War of the Black Rising. The Earth was devastated, the moon blasted out of the sky. It was only on Mars, many millions of miles away, that humanity had survived - in the shape of a few isolated Black colonists.
But out of that few had grown a new civilization - a civilization which now, some two thousand years later, had successfully launched its first ever space exploration - destination, the 'dead' planet Earth.