Tor, Jan 2002, 24.95, 270 pp.
The most powerful sentient beings known in the universe have been relocating humans, Saurs, and other intelligent species from one star system to another for at last several millennium. In the twenty-third century (local earth time), Gregor Cairns decides to use the interstellar technology invented two centuries ago by his ancestors to open up interstellar trade routes.
However, when Matt and crew arrive at planet Croatan, the local Port Authority impounds their ship. It will take a diplomatic warrior to navigate the political land mines in order for Matt to regain the vessel. However, as long as the bureaucrats think this is a trade mission he has a chance though somewhat remote. However, if the ruling officials ever learn about Matt's hidden agenda to confront the Powers Above on why the various races were moved a staggering one-hundred thousand light-years from Earth, they will lock him up and throw away the key.
DARK LIGHT, the sequel to COSMONAUT KEEP, is a deep cerebral science fiction tale that contains plenty of action, but leaves the reader pondering about humanity's place in the universe. The complex story line is loaded with adventure and a deep cast of which not all are human, but all are fully developed so that readers appreciate the intelligence of each species. Still, the bottom line of Ken MacLeod's futurist outer space enterprise is the philosophical question of mankind's place in a diverse universe in which God-like beings play puppeteer to humanity the puppets.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner