The glum, rather faceless US debut of a British newcomer. Darksea is a small volcanic island adjacent to the polar ice; here live the Fishers, hairless people with embryonic psi powers who draw sustenance from a frigid ocean that is poisonous to them. No-mirth and his sidekick Mirth are newly qualified Fishers; No-mirth has somehow earned the enmity of the tribe's new Water Sorcerer, Nemu (he's just murdered the old Water Sorcerer to obtain the position). No-mirth espies a huge, terrible, and threatening Fish, but nobody believes him. Soon he is outcast, pursued by a hostile Nemu and a vengeful Mirth; washed up on the polar ice, he's rescued by beings from inside the ""Fish""--a stranded nuclear submarine. Luckily, what the Fishers call ""liferock"" is uranium ore to the submariners, who are saved. No-mirth learns from the grateful submariners that the Fishers are survivors of a disaster for whom radiation has become a necessity; and that Darksea is doomed, the island soon to be reabsorbed. No-mirth elects to rejoin the Fishers, since among the submariners he would be a sequestered zoo specimen because of his radioactivity. So he returns to Darksea to defeat Nemu and become the new Water Sorcerer. A grimly elaborate but none too convincing creation, with dourly un-engaging characters and few signs of life except in the closing chapters.