Stephen R. Donaldson
Second of Donaldson's projected five-book science-fiction series following The Real Story, in which the beautiful Morn Hyland, former police officer and victim of "gap sickness" that caused her to destroy her father's spaceship, traded slavery at the hands of pirate Angus Thermopyle for the dubious protection of interstellar gangster Nick Succorso. Now, however, she's gained control of the "zone implant" in her brain that enabled Angus to enslave her. At first she uses sex to manipulate Nick; but then, finding herself pregnant (by Angus), Morn decides to have the baby and persuades Nick to dicker with the alien biological-whiz Amnion: Morn will cure Nick's ship of its crippling computer-virus malady; in exchange, the Amnion will produce from Morn's fetus a full-grown son, Davies, who will have all of her memories. The characters are too busy seething with barely containable emotions to need personalities, but, boy, do they suffer; still, with the well-realized backdrop and a plot that meanders in a developmental fog, this is the formula that Donaldson fans find so beguiling.