Three old space mining prospectors in their beat-up space ship discover a small pod floating in space. Inside is a tiny girl child, with funny little hooves, a wealth of silver hair growing on her body, and a lump in the middle of her forehead which, as time elapses, grows into a horn. It is a sort of unicorn. When the old prospectors come to sell their ores on the home planet controversy breaks out. Bureaucrats want to put her in a home and cut off her deformity, scientists want to study her and isolate her, and so the old three kidnap her back on their ship and go roaring off round the universe, having adventures, saving her, and finally having her save all the child slaves on a terrible planet called Kezdet. It is space opera at it's best and will be followed by more in the series, no doubt tracing Acorna to her home planet.
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Anne McAffrey is one of the world's leading science-fiction writers, and has won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Born and raised in the US, although of Irish extraction, she now lives permanently in Ireland, in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, where, as well as writing, she breeds horses. She has recently been awarded the Margaret A. Edwards' Lifetime Achievement Literary Award. She is the creator of the Dragons of Pern series. Margaret Ball lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children and pets.She has a BA in mathematics and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Texas.After graduation, she taught at UCLA, then spent several years honing her science fiction and fantasy skills by designing computer software and making inflated promises about its capabilities.Her books include Lost in Translation and Mathemagics. When not writing, she plays the flute, makes quilts, and feeds the pets.From Kirkus Reviews:
First of a projected series from the authors of a previous collaboration, PartnerShip (a 1992 mass market). Three space miners, Gill, Calum, and Rafik, find a survival pod drifting in space; inside sleeps Acorna, a furry, unicorn-like humanoid infant. Young Acorna, who grows--and learns--swiftly, soon manifests the ability to purify air and water, and heal injuries with her horn. When the miners return to base, though, some scientists try to snatch Acorna for study, so she and the miners retreat hastily into space. Bargaining with Rafik's uncle Hafiz, they arrange to switch their ship's registration and start new careers as space traders. But Hafiz also covets Acorna, so they flee again; one thing leads to another, and eventually they end up on planet Kezdet, the last place they wanted to go. Vengeful Security Guardians hope to nab the miners for previous indiscretions; Hafiz's agents are hot on the trail; and Chinese mystic and enlightened businessman Delszaki Li wants to catch Acorna, since he's convinced that she's the key to overthrowing Kezdet's vicious and thoroughly entrenched system of child slavery. More fantasy than science fiction with a bustling yet flimsy plot, lots of scene-shifting, stereotyped characters, and the McCaffrey hallmark to pull in the crowds. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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