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Far out on the frozen outer limits of the thranx/humanx Commonwealth, on the permafrosted plant of Tran-ky-ky, lay the chilly trading outpost of Brass Monkey.

Inward bound on the interstellar transport Antares, Ethan Frome Fortune, space travelling salesman with a neat line in perfumes, jewelled knick-knacks and up market gadgetry, ran into grizzled, galactic hell raiser Skua September for the first time.

Kidnapped, knocked unconscious and crash landed – all quite accidentally – they were about to find out that life on the sub- zero wasteland was full of incident. Bored they would not be. Dead they might well be – particularly if Sagyanak, Chief of the nomadic Horde, could lay hands on them.

The great adventure has just begun and early retirement was not an option.