Language: English

Pages: 391

ISBN: 0671632671

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Retail ePub from OverDrive

Note: the file has metadata saved with Calibre, though it's not a conversion. However, it is exactly how I got it from OverDrive so it's still considered retail.

The Fleet thought the wars were over, but as a deadly race of insectoid invaders, the Ichton, sweep through the galaxy, races new to the Alliance are in dire need of aid. Star Central answers with the mammoth battlestation Stephen Hawking. The Hawking takes the fight beyond the boundaries of human space where the Ichton prove to be a formidable foe. Meanwhile, within the pseudoplanet's stratified decks, the pressures of constant combat and close quarters may become the enemy's most dangerous advantage. For the first time in one volume: the complete stories of the Stephen Hawking, its multi-race military and civilian crew, and its desperate fight against the Ichton.











is something terribly, terribly irking to an Ickie when he realizes his sacred flesh is being devoured by a lesser being, one who cares Khalia-squat about the all-precious hatchery. Food means a lot to the fuzzybuggies. The only appetite they haven’t been able to govern is appetite per se. Ol’ metabolism’s got ’em , and got ’em bad. Give ’em enough time and they come up with a slew of airtight rationalizations for why it’s okay to eat Grandma. My sister was like that about chocolate. I perceive a

the rotation today, I’ll have your butt in a sling. Now get out of here and let me finish my dinner.” Sal smiled thinly, thinking (and tempted to say) that no one had ever seen Frank finish a meal before, and it was unlikely to start happening now. But she thought better of it—the remark was uncharitable, anyway: how he handled stress was his own business. She went away to see about the evening service. There was no one there for it, which was a common enough variation when Hawking was in

need to go when the artificial intelligence harmonizes the setting with the actual output of the power supply.” “That’s what the captain’s doing?” Dresser asked with a nod. “The artificial intelligence is making the calculation,” Kaehler said. “Captain Bailey is watching the AI while it works. I presume.” Dresser looked from Kaehler to the pole, then to the horizon beyond. “I don’t see how it could work,” he said to emptiness. “A second ago—the planet rotates on its axis, it circles the sun,

earth tones, brightened by street paving of brilliant yellow. From a distance, the soft lines and engaging ambiance of the city as it originally stood would have suggested a field of edible mushrooms. The tallest of the surviving structures rose about ten meters. The ragged edges in which the tower now ended were the result of Ichton weapons. A column of Ichtons had passed through the community. The invaders’ weapons, derivatives of their defensive shields, had blasted a track across the center

his head. He noticed every movement, no matter how slight—nostrils flaring for a breath, the quiver of eyelashes at the start of a blink. His new brain combined the images of over a hundred facet eyes and sorted for the differences in the views they presented. “It was obvious before we started that the enemy’s numbers are enormous,” Blue continued. “We now realize that Ichton weapons are formidable as well. In some ways—” The desk translated Blue’s throat clearing as a burst of static. “Well,

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