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Moon Flower
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Summary

Something strange is happening on the planet Cyrene, which is in the early phases of being "developed" by the mammoth Interworld Restructuring Corporation. Terrans from the base there have been disappearing in droves. Myles Callen, a ruthlessly efficient "Facilitator" employed by Interworld's security and defense contractor Milicorp, is sent to investigate. Also with the mission is Marc Shearer, a young, idealistic quantum physicist, disillusioned with the world, who is on his way to join a former colleague, Evan Wade. On arrival he finds that Wade too has vanished and doesn't want to be found by the Terran authorities. Wade has arranged contact via the Cyreneans, however, and accompanied by two companions that he has befriended, Shearer embarks on a journey to an undisclosed destination.

Cyrene is at a level comparable to that of 18th century Europe, and in many ways shows the simplicity and appeal of that era. But more importantly, Cyrenean society is based on such values as trust, fairness, goodwill, and integrity, getting right at an early stage so many of the fundamental values that Earth, for whatever reason, got wrong. It seems to stem from their extraordinary ability to see through dishonesty and know intuitively their longer-term better interests. The advanced culture that they are moving toward promises to be very different from the nightmare that seems to be relentlessly engulfing Earth. It becomes clear why so many Terrans have deserted.

Wade has traced the reason to a quantum effect that manifests itself in a peculiar form of Cyrenean plant life. But he has also been organizing the Cyreneans to resist Earth's planned imposition of economic servitude, and Callen, acting for Interworld, succeeds in tracking him down. Shearer, Wade, and the core of the Terran opposition are apprehended and dispatched back to Earth. It seems that the brave attempt to protect Cyrene and preserve the unique path of development that it promised is over.

But the strange influence that Cyrene exerts on all who go there is pervasive. Shearer and Callen not only end up becoming unlikely allies to take control of their own lives and secure the future of Cyrene, but through a quirk of events, bring Earth the hope of enjoying a whole new beginning also.

 
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