AMID THE CROWD OF STARS (February 2020) explores the potential impact of alien infection on humankind as they traverse the stars and find themselves stranded on new and strange planets. Here's the cover copy:
Publishers Weekly: "Leigh (A Rising Moon) puts an inventive spin on a familiar trope in this provocative tale of first contact set in the far future. Long before the novel’s start, a devastating meteor strike cut Earth off from other colonized worlds, forcing the now isolated colonists to biologically adapt to their adopted outposts. Now Earth starship Odysseus visits one such outpost, the planet Canis Lupus, for the first time. The crew finds a populace eager to visit the ancestral home world they never knew—but potentially harboring diseases lethal to earthlings. As Terran exobiologist Ichiko Aguilar explores the planet, she discovers a culture divided into Mainlander clans and the Inish: archipelago settlers whose bond with the arracht, a sentient aquatic species indigenous to Canis Lupus, represents first contact between humanity and extraterrestrial life. Leigh depicts the Lupusians as wonderfully earthy descendants of the British Isles, and his treatment of Ichiko’s friendship with the empathetic Inisher Saoirse ineluctably draws the reader into the story. Exploring big ideas about interplanetary travel, this finely crafted sci-fi saga is full of both surprises and charm."
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