The only survivors of an annihilated human race must find one another somewhere in the cosmos and unite to destroy the alien aggressors who obliterated the Earth in this classic science fiction adventure. After a three-year mission, the American starship Benjamin Franklin and its all-male crew have returned to Earth, only to discover the planet is dead, a blackened shell devoid of life. It is clear that one of a trio of alien species engineered the holocaust, but which? When the captain of the Franklin falters, engineer Carl Donnan is forced to take command of the ship. The future of what remains of the human race is in his hands. Donnan's first priority is to escape with his crewmates; the second is to find out if there are other human survivors somewhere among the stars - unbeknownst to Donnan and the three hundred men now under his charge, the female crew of the Europa also survived the genocide - and the third is to seek vengeance, for the alien annihilators will not rest until their task is completed. If the last men and women in the galaxy do not identify and destroy their enemy, there will be no place in the universe to hide. The winner of three Nebulas, seven Hugos, and numerous other awards over the course of his illustrious career, science fiction Grand Master Poul Anderson has written a magnificent adventure of courage and survival in the wake of the unthinkable, demonstrating once again why he is considered one of the brightest literary lights to shine during the Golden Age of Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury.