In a far future, humanity is genetically engineered to be
perfect, and live clean, useful lives in bureaucratic
cities. On the other hand, the travelling bands of raggle-
taggle Bideshi are thieves and live in dirty home-ships,
inbred and useless. That's the story as taught to
Adam Yuga is heading for a new promotion with a planetary
mining firm and just has to pass a few standard checks. He
is stunned when a medical check fails and he is stripped of
job and privileges. Nobody wants to be around someone with
any kind of disease. His credits are used up on medical
costs but the illness progresses to weakness and tremors.
To feed himself he has to steal. But he's a computer
engineer, and he can't resist taking too much once he
breaks a bank code. An alert is issued and he is saved only
by a scruff with dreadlocks who drags him onto a small ship
and off the planet.
The Bideshi man, Lochlan, thinks Adam might be useful.
However it's quickly a matter of how the Bideshi can help
Adam, because their spiritual healer is able to arrest the
progress of the illness for a time. Then the official
Protectorate fleet comes hunting him down, and it is clear
that more than just money is at stake. In LINE AND ORBIT
there are obvious echoes of films Silent Running and
Avatar, as the Bideshi live in spaceships full of forests
and grasslands, programmed to replicate seasons for the
plants. The sterile-by-comparison Protectorate consider
these gypsy people as little better than animals and intend
killing anyone who stands in their way. Adam is so well
engineered that he learns to fire weapons and be a fighter
pilot almost instantly, and strikes back not just for
himself but for Lochlan and his new community. An alien
race, the fearsome Klashorg, turns out to have more in
common with the Bideshi than their 'pure' cousins.
Adam also learns that the Bideshi are relaxed about
alternative sexuality and he starts a relationship with
another man for the first time. However this is not a
large part of this story by Sunny Moraine and Lisa Soem
and need not deter the nervous. While I feel this is an
adult novel for several reasons, including language and
violence, men and women should equally enjoy it.
What he’s been taught to fear could be his destiny…and
his only hope.
Adam Yuga, a rising young
star in the imperialist Terran Protectorate, is on the verge
of a massive promotion…until a routine physical exam reveals
something less than perfection. Genetic flaws are taboo, and
Adam soon discovers there’s a thin line between rising star
and starving outcast.
Stripped of wealth and
position, stricken with a mysterious, worsening illness,
Adam resorts to stealing credits to survive. Moments from
capture by the Protectorate, help arrives in the form of
Lochlan, a brash, cocksure Bideshi fighter.
Bideshi, a people long shunned by the Protectorate, are the
only ones who will offer him shelter. As Adam learns the
truth about the mysterious, nomadic people he was taught to
fear, Lochlan offers him not just shelter—but a temptation
Adam can only resist for so long.
Struggling to adapt
to his new life, Adam discovers his illness hides a terrible
secret, one that the Protectorate will stop at nothing to
conceal. Time is growing short, and he must find the
strength to close a centuries-old rift, accept a new
identity—and hold on to a love that could cost him
Warning: This title contains brief
scenes of explicit violence and mild but potentially