Eternal inertia is more like it: tedious, far-fetched interstellar war yarn from the paperback author and designer of computer games. After a manned probe to Tau Ceti falls silent, NASA 2 dispatches a larger ship: the captain, Van Pelt, soon goes mad and slaughters the intelligent native Habers, along with dissenting crew member Markos Dressler. Markos reawakens in a new, blobby, repulsive body with strange powers; the Habers, you see, have resurrected him because they are being decimated on other planets they've colonized by insensate buglike alien invaders--the Habers, alas, don't understand death or war or conflict. At first, Markos attempts to develop a Haber-human hybrid race of warriors, but this doesn't work out too well--so he captures the surviving Earth crew members and persuades them to fight for the Habers by offering them immortality, albeit in unappealing Haber-like bodies. The altered humans then go forth to capture some of the buglike Hyrans in order to study them and to learn how they may be defeated. Lots of hard-working xenobiology but no plot or characters worth the mention: some promising ideas spun out into terminal boredom.