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Helva, born with terrible physical defects, her brain is transplanted into a metal shell until she is old enough to be put inside a Space Craft where she will merge with the technology and become part of the ship. Her relationship with her pilots and passengers is poignantly portrayed, whilst her ability to sing is nurtured by those she comes to love and trust. Helva is not just a dispossessed brain implanted into a space ship, she is totally human, she loves, she grieves, she gets angry.

This is the second book in the Brainship Series. Nancia Perez y des Gras was an aristocrat, a member of one of the High Families, who was born with grave physical disabilities that required her human body to be encased in a massive titanium column that provided a direct link between her mind and the computer of her ship, XN-935. Nancia never would have survived without the complex life-support system the shell provided and which also allowed her to have a career as a new brainship for the Courier Service. Although she has been well trained, Nancia is not ready for dealing with the five "ordinary" human beings who are her passengers on her first voyage.

Space Station SSS-900C, a profitable but out-of-the-way trading and mining centre, is attacked by Kolnari, pirates from a planet of sociopathic exiles. While awaiting the arrival of the Central Worlds' Navy, the inhabitants play for time with a major deception planned by Simeon, the shellperson operating the station, whose hobby is the study of early warfare, including guerrilla tactics.

The direct sequel to The City Who Fought. Planet Bethel bigwig Amos ben Sierra Nueva and his daughter Soamosa are kidnapped by the evil mutant, Belazair of Kolnar, in revenge for a previous defeat; Belazair plans to infect Amos with a contagious brain-destroying virus and then send him back to Bethel. So, after some arm-twisting by secret agent Bros Sperin, spaceship Wyal (brain: Rand; brawn: Joat Simeon-Hap) speeds to the rescue, though Joat and Rand don't yet know about the virus. But then Belazair's kindly son, Karak, refuses to torture Soamosa; instead he falls in love and escapes with her. Joat, meanwhile, discovers that one of Belazair's key associates is the drug-ruined uncle who, when she was a small girl, sold her into slavery in settlement of a gambling debt.

The brainship Carialle and her brawn, Keff, find a habitable planet inhabited by an apparent mix of races and cultures and dominated by an elite of apparent magicians. Appearances are deceiving, however, and by the time the explorers have discovered the planet's secrets, not to mention other intelligent races, they find themselves in a desperate battle to save it.

Hypatia Cade the highly precocious daughter of an archaeologist couple is bitten by a bug. This leaves Hypatia or Tia for short paralyzed and in dire straits indeed. An option for Tia might be the Shell person's program. Thus Tia goes on to train for the B & B ship program. After graduation she takes her chances with brawn Alexander Joli-Chanteau.

Carialle is a "brain" encased permanently in an artificial environment and trained to become the guiding force of a spaceship. After lengthy training, she chose a "brawn" Keff, a romantic and amateur linguist with a weakness for holographic adventure games like Myths and Legends. In the previous book, they discovered the planet Ozran, where two lost colonies, one human, one of the amphibioid Cridi, coexisted and shared a Cridi technology known as "Core". Now they have been assigned to carry a Cridi delegation home to their world of origin and invite the mother culture to become members of CW. What they didn't realize before they left Ozran was that the Cridi homeworld is close to a region of space where Carialle once suffered a catastrophic mishap which nearly destroyed her then ship-body, and was (or thinks she was) boarded and stripped by beings she was never able to identify. Upon reentering that region, she suffers flashbacks which lead Maxwell-Corey to conclude that she is insane and should be removed not only from the mission but from service entirely. When the CW ship sent to relieve her is attacked by a pirate craft, they realize that Carialle's memories were accurate, and take off in pursuit of the pirates. Cridi friends old and new join their quest, which leads eventually to the discovery of yet another sapient race, the griffin-like Thelerie, and to Carialle's vindication when the pirate ringleader is captured.

 
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