From the author of the pirate-sorcerer yarn Wyvern (1988), an appallingly hyper-complicated distant sequel to the 1984 In Other Worlds: Life as we probably won't know it two billion years from now, perched on the edge of an intelligent black hole. A vast allen known as the Rimstalker has re-created humanity from randomly surviving bits of DNA, and so populated a number of odd worlds orbiting the black hole Saor. Why the reanimation? Well, the Rimstalker needed some allies against the spiderlike alien zotl, who take nourishment by causing agony lo sapient beings. Now, the advanced, mystical human Foke live partly near Saor and partly in the Overworld, a set of higher dimensions reachable via space-wormhole ""lynks."" Chart-ti Beppu, an orphan raised by the Foke, needs a mate. The available Foke proving unsuitable, Chart-ti seeks out Ned O'Tennis, a fighter pilot of the domineering Aesirai--they are busy fighting a civil war and, unknown to loyal Ned, have sold out to the zotl. Ned and Chart-ti seem destined to become lovers--but then in the final battle, the Aesirai are driven forth, and Ned is hurled far into the Overworld; Chan-ti sets out to rescue him. Oh, yes, and the superbeing Gat pops out of the nearby black hole--she too needs help against the rapacious zotl. Guess who wins in the end? Should satisfy readers who favor total immersion--and those with a desire for earnest, weird multi-convolutions.