"[A] combination of mystery and science fiction almost reaching the level of Isaac Asimov's classic Lije Baley-Daneel Olivaw novels." -Chicago Sun Times Her code name is Sparta. Her beauty veils a mysterious past and abilities far surpassing those of a normal human. For she is more than human: Sparta is the first product of advanced biotech engineering. But now she is little more than a cipher to herself-crucial memories of the past three years are locked away in the dark recesses of her brain. When the crippled freighter Star Queen arrives at Venus Station with a lone survivor on board, Sparta must risk her life to investigate what really happened during its deadly voyage in space. She must solve this mystery even as she unlocks another-the truth behind her own identity . . . This tautly paced story brings together the genius of Arthur C. Clarke and Paul Preuss, whose work has been described by The New York Times as "Lively, intelligent . . . hard-driving." Arthur C. Clarke is the world-renowned author of such science fiction classics as 2001: A Space Odyssey, for which he shared an Oscar nomination with director Stanley Kubrick, and its popular sequels, 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, and 3001: Final Odyssey; the highly acclaimed The Songs of Distant Earth; the bestselling collection of original short stories, The Sentinel; and over two dozen other books of fiction and non-fiction. He received the Marconi International Fellowship in 1982. He resides in Sri Lanka, where he continues to write and consult on issues of science, technology, and the future. Paul Preuss began his successful writing career after years of producing documentary and television films and writing screenplays. He is the author of twelve novels, including Venus Prime, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, and the near-future thrillers Core, Human Error, and Starfire. His non-fiction has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Besides writing, he has been a science consultant for several film companies. He lives in San Francisco, California.on.