Skeen's Search

The Skeen Trilogy

Book 3
Open Road Media
Free sample

A space outlaw must rescue the remnants of an ancient alien race—before her galaxy explodes—in the conclusion to an action-packed science fiction trilogy.
 
An unrepentant scoundrel and collector of priceless alien artifacts and treasures—like a tomb raider Lara Croft with issues and a spaceship, or a female Indiana Jones with a looser moral code—the inimitable Skeen makes her final appearance in a thrilling galaxy-hopping adventure that blends science fiction and quest fantasy in the finest Andre Norton tradition, inserting a healthy dose of Terry Pratchett Discworld wackiness for good measure.
 
After stumbling through a one-way dimensional gate constructed eons earlier by the enigmatic and nearly extinct Ykx, Skeen has finally found her way off Mistommerk. Despite numerous trials and great turmoil, Skeen is at long last free, with a ship and crew that includes her new friends, shapeshifter Timka and Ykx keyholder Lipitero..
 
But freedom always has a price, and Skeen must pay for her deliverance. She’ll have to make her way through a treacherous galaxy to locate the planet Rallen—which may or may not actually exist—gather up any remaining Ykx she happens to find there, and bring them back to Mistommerk before the gate closes permanently.
 
Their journey is about to take Skeen and her crewmates through some of the nastiest corners of a particularly nasty galaxy and towards an inevitable confrontation with the war vessels of a powerful and distinctly unfriendly Empire. But the biggest threat of all is the solar system itself: Its sun is about to go supernova, which could result in a very explosive finale indeed for Skeen and her space-going misadventures.
 
With her exciting, ingenious, and wildly entertaining Skeen’s Search, author Jo Clayton offers a fitting and supremely satisfying climax to her thrilling outer space saga, as one of the most uniquely endearing rogues in the history of speculative fiction takes her final bow with a grand flourish.
 
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About the author

Jo Clayton (1939–1998) was the author of thirty-five published novels and numerous short stories in the fantasy and science fiction genres. She was best known for the Diadem Saga, in which an alien artifact becomes part of a person’s mind. She also wrote the Skeen Trilogy, the Duel of Sorcery series, and many more. Jo Clayton’s writing is marked by complex, beautifully realized societies set in exotic worlds and stories inhabited by compelling heroines. Her illness and death from multiple myeloma galvanized her local Oregon fan community and science fiction writers and readers nationwide to found the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Aug 9, 2016
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Pages
303
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ISBN
9781504038478
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Science Fiction / Alien Contact
Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This fast-paced, gritty space adventure introduces the unforgettable Skeen, a hard-edged heroine and intergalactic thief trapped in an unknown universe.
 
Jo Clayton, creator of the popular Diadem Saga, introduces a delightfully unforgettable new character—a tough, sexy, futuristic tomb raider Lara Croft with issues—and sets her loose in a wild and woolly galaxy of dastardly villains, alien shape-shifters, and all manner of strange sentient life-forms.
 
Skeen is a bandit and a rogue, a master thief wanted throughout myriad solar systems for plundering the rare antiquities of countless alien civilizations while always keeping one rocket ship–length ahead of the intergalactic law. A “rooner” with a dark past, she now finds herself penniless and abandoned on a miserable backwater planet, at the tail end of a string of very bad luck, with no option except to follow unreliable rumors to a supposed fortune in gems hidden among ancient ruins. What she finds instead is a gateway into another world—and a universe of trouble.
 
Now, trapped in a strange new reality with no way out, Skeen must find the key to reopening the portal, and that will entail making contact with the mysterious aliens who created the interdimensional passageway. But the enigmatic Ykx vanished eons ago, and finding representatives of a highly advanced and possibly extinct extraterrestrial race is not going to be easy for the silver-tongued lone wolf outlaw. It doesn’t help that Skeen’s entourage keeps expanding by leaps and bounds with unwanted hangers-on whose interference could end up damning her to an eternity in nowhere.
 
The first book in a thrilling trilogy featuring the inimitable Skeen, Skeen’s Leap cements Clayton’s well-deserved reputation as one of the premier purveyors of science fantasy, alongside Andre Norton, C. J. Cherryh, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Wry, witty, and wondrously inventive, featuring a colorful cast of delightful and deliciously weird alien types, it is a space opera romp guaranteed to transport genre aficionados to new and wondrous worlds.
Trapped in an alternate dimension, the tough and self-confident Skeen confronts slavers, monsters, and alien assassins in a fast-paced space adventure.
 
Skeen is back! Sexy space pilot and larcenous scoundrel—a tomb raider who could give Lara Croft a serious run for her money—the tough, cunning, and seductive master thief takes on a series of Herculean trials in her attempts to escape an alternate dimension in a witty and wonderful hybrid of science fiction and fantasy, space opera and quest adventure, that will enthrall fans of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, and Alan Dean Foster.
 
A fugitive “rooner” wanted by law enforcers throughout the known universe, Skeen has grit, cunning, and a closet full of more skeletons than a suburban cemetery. Now, the intergalactic outlaw is stuck in a dimension that is not her own, surrounded by a small mob of new friends and followers representing the eight different races that inadvertently stumbled into Mistommerk over the centuries. Each member of the motley entourage shares the same goal: to find a way out through the elusive Stranger’s Gate.
 
Their road to a possible exit is twisted and dangerous, with all sorts of nastiness waiting around every turn, from hired killers to bizarre ravenous beasts to the terrible shape-shifting Sea Min. Skeen is proving to be a most wily, brave, and determined, if reluctant, leader. But with a confusing plethora of portals leading to numerous strange dimensions and worlds overlapping other worlds, she may be hard pressed to find the right way back—even if she does somehow manage to survive.
 
A masterwork of ingenious world-building and wild invention, beloved science fiction author Jo Clayton’s Skeen’s Return is a welcome return to the delightfully bizarre universe and alien life-forms so brilliantly imagined in Skeen’s Leap, the first volume in an enthralling trilogy featuring one of the most endearingly outrageous heroines in contemporary speculative fiction.
 
 SEQUEL TO GRAND CENTRAL ARENA AND SPHERES OF INFLUENCE. The climax of the Arenaverse adventure SF series!

The Arena: a vast alien otherspace that all species were forced to enter when they discovered faster-than-light travel. The Arena: where the lives of entire species might hang in the balance in a single Challenge. The Arena: filled with mysteries, alliances, betrayals, opportunities, and hideous dangers for individual and empire alike. And the only thing you couldn't do . . . was refuse to play the Arena's game.

Ariane Austin and her crew had learned these lessons the hard way, and—with luck, skill, and sheer will, had managed to survive so far. But now a debt of honor to Humanity's oldest, if sometimes self-serving, ally Orphan has come due. The threat of war looms with the xenophobic Molothos, one of the five Great Factions; the dark and omnipresent legacy of the Hyperion Experiment lingers. As Leader of the Faction of Humanity, Captain Ariane Austin had to deal with all of these problems, and deal with them soon. For within her was also the alien power that the Shadeweavers and the Faith had sealed away—with a seal that would not last forever. She needed to find a way to control that power before it broke free—or more than just Humanity would pay the price.

Now Ariane must travel with Orphan into the legendary Deeps of the Arena, far from any known Spheres—to a destination only the enigmatic alien knows, leaving behind one of her most trusted friends and advisors to confront whatever new trials the Arena may throw at Humanity in her absence.

But before Ariane can depart, she must deal with a minor matter of a Challenge against one of the Great Factions—a Challenge with an entire species' citizenship in the Arena at stake! 

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

About Spheres of Influence:
“Fast and entertaining action and a world that has the feel of Asimov’s Foundation series.”—Sarah A. Hoyt, author of the Darkship saga

About Ryk E. Spoor’s Grand Central Arena:
“…an imaginative piece of space opera that’s set on a near-future Earth where artificial intelligence is taken for granted.”—Shiny Reviews

“Grand Central Arena’ is space opera in the grand old tradition . . . but with modern sensibilities and awareness of current speculations in cutting edge physics.”—Fantasy Book Critic

About the Threshold Series by Ryk E. Spoor and Eric Flint
“. . . fast-paced sci-fi. . . light in tone and hard on science . . .” —Publishers Weekly

“. . . [the series is filled with] linguistics, biology, physics, and evolution further the story, as well as wacky humor, academic rivalries, and even some sweet romances.” —School Library Journal

About Ryk E. Spoor's Phoenix Rising:
“A winner! Great characters, and thrilling adventure. I want more!”—Ed Greenwood, best-selling author of the Forgotten Realms series

“[E]xciting adventure, scary monsters, strange gods, and wondrous magic.”—Lawrence Watt-Evans
 #5 in the Boundary series universe, and sequel to Castaway Planet, by New York Times multiple best-selling author Eric Flint and veteran science fiction and fantasy author Ryk E. Spoor.

Worst-Case Scenario:

Sergeant Samuel Morgan Campbell had been in plenty of tight spots before, but nothing like this. It had happened in a few terrifying seconds: the starship he and his crew travelled on, the Outward Initiative, shattered to pieces before their eyes and disappeared, leaving them stranded in the endless night of deep space on Lifeboat LS-88—all systems dead, light-years from any known colony.

Somehow, Sergeant Campbell and his crew of half-trained children—ranging from freshly graduated Xander Bird down to eight-year-old Francisco—have to repair systems with no tools, navigate with no computers, and—if they could find a planet they could live on—land a shuttle whose controls were more than half-destroyed.

And if they manage all of that, then the real challenge begins; the only planet in range has secrets that even Sergeant Campbell cannot imagine!

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).


Praise for previous books in this series:
“. . . fast-paced sci-fi espionage thriller . . . light in tone and hard on science . . .” —Publishers Weeklyon Boundary

“The whole crew from Flint and Spoor's Boundary are back . . . Tensions run high throughout the Ceres mission . . . a fine choice for any collection.” —Publishers Weekly on Threshold

“[P]aleontology, engineering, and space flight, puzzles in linguistics, biology, physics, and evolution further the story, as well as wacky humor, academic rivalries, and even some sweet romances.” —School Library Journal on Boundary
This fast-paced, gritty space adventure introduces the unforgettable Skeen, a hard-edged heroine and intergalactic thief trapped in an unknown universe.
 
Jo Clayton, creator of the popular Diadem Saga, introduces a delightfully unforgettable new character—a tough, sexy, futuristic tomb raider Lara Croft with issues—and sets her loose in a wild and woolly galaxy of dastardly villains, alien shape-shifters, and all manner of strange sentient life-forms.
 
Skeen is a bandit and a rogue, a master thief wanted throughout myriad solar systems for plundering the rare antiquities of countless alien civilizations while always keeping one rocket ship–length ahead of the intergalactic law. A “rooner” with a dark past, she now finds herself penniless and abandoned on a miserable backwater planet, at the tail end of a string of very bad luck, with no option except to follow unreliable rumors to a supposed fortune in gems hidden among ancient ruins. What she finds instead is a gateway into another world—and a universe of trouble.
 
Now, trapped in a strange new reality with no way out, Skeen must find the key to reopening the portal, and that will entail making contact with the mysterious aliens who created the interdimensional passageway. But the enigmatic Ykx vanished eons ago, and finding representatives of a highly advanced and possibly extinct extraterrestrial race is not going to be easy for the silver-tongued lone wolf outlaw. It doesn’t help that Skeen’s entourage keeps expanding by leaps and bounds with unwanted hangers-on whose interference could end up damning her to an eternity in nowhere.
 
The first book in a thrilling trilogy featuring the inimitable Skeen, Skeen’s Leap cements Clayton’s well-deserved reputation as one of the premier purveyors of science fantasy, alongside Andre Norton, C. J. Cherryh, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Wry, witty, and wondrously inventive, featuring a colorful cast of delightful and deliciously weird alien types, it is a space opera romp guaranteed to transport genre aficionados to new and wondrous worlds.
Intergalactic voyager-turned-mercenary Aleytys risks death on a planet overrun by madmen in the thrilling fifth installment of the Diadem Saga.
 
Brave and beautiful Aleytys has been gifted with mental abilities far beyond those of ordinary humans—thanks to her genetic heritage as a homo superior Vyrhh as well as the alien technology she wears called the Diadem, which, once donned, can never be removed. Her long, strange journey across the galaxy in search of her past now takes an unexpected turn as she accepts a position with Hunters Inc., and begins training as an interstellar mercenary.
 
Aleytys’s first assignment comes before her schooling is even complete as she finds herself dispatched to Sunguralingu, a planet owned by the powerful Chwereva Company. The world and its endangered humanoid population are being ravaged by telepathic creatures spreading a plague of chaos, destruction, and madness, and the Vyrhh’s intervention has been specifically requested.
 
There is more transpiring on Sunguralingu than meets the eye, and Aleytys and her ex-lover, Grey, set out to track the civilization-obliterating insanity to its source. But their perilous hunt leads Aleytys into an insidious web carefully woven by a psychopathic member of her superior species and, once ensnared, her only possible escape will be death.
 
Thrilling science fiction with strong elements of fantasy, author Jo Clayton’s epic Diadem space opera saga stands with the best of its genre, from the novels of Andre Norton, C. J. Cherryh, and Marion Zimmer Bradley to the humanist sci-fi masterworks of Ursula K. Le Guin. In the enthralling fifth installment of this classic series, a courageous star-traveler’s new life as an intergalactic soldier for hire begins—and nearly ends—on a distant planet in turmoil.
NOW THE ACCLAIMED HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES—THE MASTERPIECE THAT BECAME A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
 
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
 
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
 
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.
Trapped in an alternate dimension, the tough and self-confident Skeen confronts slavers, monsters, and alien assassins in a fast-paced space adventure.
 
Skeen is back! Sexy space pilot and larcenous scoundrel—a tomb raider who could give Lara Croft a serious run for her money—the tough, cunning, and seductive master thief takes on a series of Herculean trials in her attempts to escape an alternate dimension in a witty and wonderful hybrid of science fiction and fantasy, space opera and quest adventure, that will enthrall fans of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, and Alan Dean Foster.
 
A fugitive “rooner” wanted by law enforcers throughout the known universe, Skeen has grit, cunning, and a closet full of more skeletons than a suburban cemetery. Now, the intergalactic outlaw is stuck in a dimension that is not her own, surrounded by a small mob of new friends and followers representing the eight different races that inadvertently stumbled into Mistommerk over the centuries. Each member of the motley entourage shares the same goal: to find a way out through the elusive Stranger’s Gate.
 
Their road to a possible exit is twisted and dangerous, with all sorts of nastiness waiting around every turn, from hired killers to bizarre ravenous beasts to the terrible shape-shifting Sea Min. Skeen is proving to be a most wily, brave, and determined, if reluctant, leader. But with a confusing plethora of portals leading to numerous strange dimensions and worlds overlapping other worlds, she may be hard pressed to find the right way back—even if she does somehow manage to survive.
 
A masterwork of ingenious world-building and wild invention, beloved science fiction author Jo Clayton’s Skeen’s Return is a welcome return to the delightfully bizarre universe and alien life-forms so brilliantly imagined in Skeen’s Leap, the first volume in an enthralling trilogy featuring one of the most endearingly outrageous heroines in contemporary speculative fiction.
 
Three unlikely heroes fight to save their planet from a deadly plague in this thrilling space opera set in Jo Clayton’s beloved Diadem universe.
 
No one on the barbarian planet Jaydugar knows where the hypnotically beautiful Ranga Eye gems came from, but everyone who encounters them pays a terrible price. These magic alien crystals, so smooth and pleasing to the touch, provide the holder with an extraordinary sense of peace and joy, causing them to see and experience wondrous, enchanting things. But the need for the visions the Ranga Eye provides quickly becomes an addiction that eats away at the soul and ultimately leads to a horrible, drawn-out death.
 
An exquisite embroiderer, Gleia has pined for independence and true purpose throughout her life of servitude. She finds both when she manages to buy her freedom and sets out to locate and obliterate the sparkling, druglike scourge that ripped a devastating hole in her personal world.
 
On a quest fraught with peril across a treacherous landscape of slavers, brigands, and mercenary aliens, Gleia’s path will intertwine with those of the enigmatic, long-lived juggler Shounach—a perplexing, often infuriating rogue born off-world three centuries earlier to intergalactic adventurer Aleytys—and young Deel the Dancer, both of whom have suffered tragic, life-altering loss as a result of the terrible, beautiful jewels.
 
Now the fate of the entire planet depends upon three unlikely champions locating the source of the sparkling plague and destroying the gems forever. But in a world of uncertainty and ever-present danger will they even survive to reach their journey’s end, and once there, can they resist the irresistible fatal seduction of the deadly Ranga Eyes?
 
Accomplished world-builder Jo Clayton returns to the galaxy she so brilliantly brought to life in her sensational Diadem Saga, once again seamlessly blending science fiction and high fantasy in an epic, thrill-packed quest adventure that confirms her position among C. J. Cherryh, Alan Dean Foster, Andre Norton, and other speculative fiction greats.
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