McCauley is a secret agent of Tri Planetary Justice, the only law for almost 30 inhabited worlds. His assignment is to visit the asteroid world of Palas, a lump of rock floating through space with no apparent value. However, not all is as it seems on the underground world of Palas. A narcopeen drug trade flourishes among the con men and thieves that populate Palas.
Frederik Poul was an American science fiction writer and editor. His career spanned over 70 years. Poul's writing won him three Hugo awards and multiple Nebula Awards. Poul collaborated with Dirk Wylie, a pen name for Harry Dockweller, authoring Asteroid of the Damned in 1942.