Confident, natty medium-future alien-contact yarn from the veteran editor/writer (most recently The Day the Martians Came). A spaceship of the Hakh'hli, kangaroo-like high-gravity aliens, heads towards Earth; aboard, the Hakh'hli Major Seniors prepare a group of youngsters to make human contact. Among the group is Lysander "Sandy" Washington, a human bred and raised by the Hakh'hli--whose odd view of Earth derives largely from old TV programs. (About 50 years ago, the broadcasts ceased, as Star Wars broke out on and above Earth. The upshot: a warmer climate with drowned coastlines and hurricanes roaming Alaska; a population reduced by nine-tenths; and space above Earth filled with deadly orbiting junk, frustrating the survivors' attempts to return into space.) Sandy and his gaggle of Hakh'hli soon make contact, only to discover that much of what they have been taught is false (only Sandy is bothered by this, however; the aliens are naturally obedient). In turn, the humans--represented by police agent Marguery Darp, with whom Sandy soon falls in love--study Sandy and his comrades. Why are the Hakh'hli so eager to help Earth? Why have they filled Sandy with lies? What are they really after? Sandy must grow up rapidly--and find out who he really is--in order to head off a probably fatal confrontation. Nothing particularly original here, and Pohl offers no new insights. Still and all, it has weight and shape and involvement: a pleasure to watch a professional at his craft.