Earth groans under the thumb of fundamentalist political regimes. Crisis after crisis has given authoritarians the upper hand. Freedom and opportunity exist in space, for those with the nerve and skill to run the risks.
Now the governments of Earth are encouraging many of their most incorrigible dissidents to join a great ark on a one-way expedition, twice Jupiter's distance from the Sun, to Saturn, the ringed planet that baffled Galileo and has fascinated astronomers ever since.
But humans will be human, on Earth or in the heavens-so amidst the idealism permeating Space Habitat Goddard are many individuals with long-term schemes, each awaiting the tight moment. And hidden from them is the greatest secret of all, the real purpose of this expedition, known to only a few....
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The arrival of Gregory Chart, the greatest dramatist ever, whose productions were played out in the skies, and whose actors were also the audience, could only disrupt and destroy once the Yanfolk were aroused from their dreaming indifference . . .
(First published 1972)