The culture of steam, wood, and glass on the planet Terra Beata seemed backward compared to the electricity, steel, and plastic of Earth. Computer-based life, the Intelligences, brought people to this planet and remained in their midst, rarely intervening in their lives.
Pierrot Wa Dignac lived next to a river on Terra Beata far in time and distance from the Earth of his ancestors. Like his father and grandfather, he becomes a trader who travels along the river. He becomes a riverling.
Humanity is not well suited for this planet but a civilization grows there. The people compensate for the toxic atmosphere, random solar storms, the air that bursts into flames, and droughts. But an unexpected conflagration loomed just over the horizon, building until it burst over Pierrot, his family, and home.
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