On the Alpha Centauri planet of Doom an amnesiac shepherd boy named Jedro runs away from a brutal rancher to join a touring carnival from Earth. Working with the carnies, Jedro gradually discovers that he has psychic powers, and that because of his peculiar talents he has been chosen to waken Supermind Holten Lee, said to possess the secret of immortality, from a 600-year-old cryogenic sleep on the asteroid Vestra. A mysterious stone Jedro carries is to be used to unlock the tomb and the secret. In scenes marked by growing suspense and complication, Jedro is pursued and threatened by carnival boss Dr. Faust, who has come from Earth in search of the powerful stone, and by Faust's sadistic henchmen the Strangler and the Tattooed Man. The Faust allusion is gratuitously imposed on this standard science fiction material but never obtrusive. The space opera staples of Superminds and interplanetary travel occur off-stage (in the distant past or the future) or in the boy's visions, so that the story's carnival-based action comprises a credible and neatly plotted adventure free of futuristic gimmickry.