Science Fiction

The One-Eyed Man

Empress of Eternity HCThe colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugs that have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, and the Unity government has a vital interest in making sure the flow of longevity drugs remains uninterrupted, even if it means uprooting the human settlements.

Offered the job of assessing the ecological impact of the human presence on Stittara, freelance consultant Dr. Paulo Verano jumps at the chance to escape the ruin of his personal life. He gets far more than he bargained for: Stittara’s atmosphere is populated with skytubes—gigantic, mysterious airborne organisms that drift like clouds above the surface of the planet. Their exact nature has eluded humanity for centuries, but Verano believes his conclusions about Stittara may hinge on understanding the skytubes’ role in the planet's ecology—if he survives the hurricane winds, distrustful settlers, and secret agendas that impede his investigation at every turn.

For more on this book read Lee's essay "Alien Ecology as Character?" on the TOR/Forge blog.


The prolific L.E. Modesitt is the NY Times bestselling author of numerous SF and Fantasy books and series. Perhaps best known for his Recluce novels, Modesitt’s novels range from epic fantasy to far future science fiction adventure. He was kind enough to answer some questions about him and his work, especially his latest novel, The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment.
An Interview with L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Author of THE ONE-EYED MAN on SF Signal.

Join L.E. Modesitt on his tour for The One-Eyed Man! In this exciting new novel, the colony planet of Stittara produces a drug called an anagathic that can more than double a normal human lifespan. But to harvest the drug, the government must wreak havoc on the lives of the colonists, with little regard for their well-being. Dr. Paulo Verano is offered a chance to study the planet and its people, but what he finds instead are skytubes—gigantic, mysterious airborne organisms that drift like clouds above the surface of the planet. What is their nature? What is their impact on the colonists, and their role in the production of anagathics? And finally, what is the measure of a human life: its quality, or its length?
Join L.E. Modesitt on Tour for The One-Eyed Man! (September 2013)

In early 2012, Tor editor David Hartwell launched what came to be known as the Palencar Project: a set of short stories based on a painting by John Jude Palencar. The project would end up including stories by Gene Wolfe, James Morrow, Michael Swanwick, Gregory Benford and, yes, L.E. Modesitt Jr. All five stories are available on or can be purchased as an ebook.
The Words Are Hide and Seek: The One-Eyed Man by L.E. Modesitt Jr.