THE QUEEN'S COURTESAN - Plot Summary
The planet Shakti, homeworld of the spacefaring, all-female Gilkesh race, vanished mysteriously long ago. No one can be certain of the truth, but we can guess at how it might have happened - and that is our story.
Part One (Chapters 1-10).
The marriage of the two queens, Kathris and Amira, promised to unite the Gilkesh population in a single kingdom after a long period of strife. But all is not well in the royal household, and one of the Queens has a secret: a young alien-affairs specialist named Joli. And then there is a certain word that seems to be on everyone's lips ... but no one knows what it means.
Part Two (Chapters 11-20).
Strange things are happening on the remote planet that Joli and her friend Dess once called home. We learn a little history with the story of the sinister cult of Singularity, now long defunct ... or is it? Back on Shakti, Kathris calls a conference to discuss a strange phenomenon in outer space - but a high-ranking official has plans of her own.
Part Three (Chapters 21-30).
Just arrived on Shakti with Dess and Dess's mentor Atubis, Joli feels both eagerness and dread as she anticipates her next private audience with Queen Amira. But they are both surprised when Dess, the astrophysicist, is summoned to the Palace first. After a disturbing briefing on events in space, Dess meets a beautiful stranger - and makes a chilling discovery about her. Meanwhile, visitors from another planet phone home ... but there's no answer.
Here's the complete story so far (read from top to bottom - new posts come in on the bottom):