In an isolated star system far from any other human outposts, a space-faring "lifeboat" was discovered by a scientist from the city of Silk. Inside the lifeboat was a two-year-old girl in frozen sleep. She had no name and no history. The people of Silk believed her to be the only survivor of a star-faring great ship attacked in the void and destroyed by the automated warships of the alien Chenzeme. They rescued and revived the child, and named her "Skye." But the people of Silk face dangers of their own. Their city is in space, built around the column of a space elevator that rises from the planet's surface into high orbit. Three-hundred kilometers below is the wild, plague-ridden planet called Deception Well. Far-above, a dusty nebula shrouds the star system. The nebula is made of drifting dust, gas, and tiny nanomachines left behind by an ancient and mysterious race. The microscopic nanomachines were made to attack and destroy any Chenzeme ship that enters the system . . . but they will defend against other threats too, and they have no loyalty to human life. Still, life in Silk is comfortable, and the dangers of their world mean little to the city's youth. Skye has grown into an adventurous, independent teen-but more and more she wonders about her mysterious past. Where did she come from? Who were her parents? And, most importantly, was she really the only survivor? When evidence of her past begins to awaken within her own body, Skye finds herself driven to explore both the dangerous surface of Deception Well and the airless reaches of outer space. She is not alone in her quest. Her best friend Zia Adovna, the handsome young astronomer Devi Hand, and the adventurous Buyu Mkolu join her as she seeks to prove that other survivors of the great ship might still be found. Unique young-adult science fiction by the Locus and Nebula Award winning author.
Linda Nagata is a Hawaii-based American author of novels, novellas, and short stories. She has been awarded the Nebula Award, and The Red: First Light was a 2013 finalist for Best Novel for both the Nebula and John Campbell awards.