Three colony ships from Earth arrive on planet Gaea, only to find that their presence has triggered the production of a red particulate haze in the atmosphere, rendering the surface uninhabitable and cutting off communications with Earth. Six years later, the colony ships are in desperate trouble. Aboard the American vessel, the birth rate has fallen to zero, the hydroponic crops are failing; sexual tensions rise as Estros--a last-gasp attempt to stimulate mass pregnancies--approaches. Timid hydroponics expert Micra suspects that the technicians have formed some sort of cabal. A delegation from the Chinese vessel pays a visit: telepathic spy Odile tells Micra that the Chinese, hoping to capture the Russian ship, caused a plague that has wiped out everyone aboard. Miera, influenced by an experimental drug prescribed by her psychiatrist to control her nightmarish ""red"" dreams, Finally becomes sensitized to Gaea-influence: the planet is apparently a protoconscious entity; Miera's red dreams are the result of Gaea's attempt at contact. Soon the cabal members, also telepathic, become sensitized to Gaea too. Then, after a visit to plagueridden Earth, Micra returns convinced that the colony must stay on Gaea and make the best of it: an opinion bolstered by the fact that those sensitized to Gaea are once more fully fertile. A dreamy, extraordinarily sensual debut, with well-handled telepathy notions, but few signs of originality and a plot that doesn't hold water. The indications of talent are, overall, fairly encouraging.