Avidly, I searched some passages of the books for anything I could relate to my everyday life; always interpreting, always translating, I found no mention of mankind or anything from this world. There was no evocation of sciences, customs and details of our world. What I was unraveling, through my studies, was the history and knowledge of a world to which ours appeared unknown.

—Charles Ischir Defontenay, Star (Psi Cassiopeia)1

I now held in my hands a vast and systematic fragment of the entire history of an unknown planet, with its architectures and its playing cards, the horror of its mythologies and the murmur of its tongues, its emperors and its seas, its minerals and its birds and fishes, its ...

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