The sequel to Dragon’s Egg. Turns ago, humans reached the Dragon’s Egg where they discovered a thriving, savage race of intelligent cheela who live a million times faster than their human friends. In the first few hours, the cheela learned from Man and soon surpassed him in knowledge. Now the humans are about to leave. Suddenly a monstrous starquake destroys all but a few cheela on the surface and another group of cheela in orbit around Dragon’s Egg, with no way to return to the surface. The fate of their civilisation rests with the tiny group below who must survive, breed and rebuild. The humans can return to earth and abandon this friendly race to extinction or stay and offer assistance – and certainly die in the attempt.