All right, thank you everyone, I made fairly minimal changes:
Generations ago, a single turun explorer discovered a long-abandoned and dwindling population of humans, a devastated colony nearing extinction on a dangerous, hostile world.
Now entirely blended into turun society, uman people have become full citizens of the far-flung Ka’ Taand, a civilization that depends on the social instincts of both uman and turun. But the Ka’ Taand is now threatened by a vicious enemy from beyond familiar space, an enemy neither species understands.
When small half-fighter tradeship Nkaastu unexpectedly encounters a formation of enemy fighters during a routine trading mission, uman battlecommander Daamon sees no choice but to tackle suicidal odds in the hope of giving the worlds of the Ka’ Taand time to prepare for renewed attack. Neither Daamon nor his turun captain expect to survive long enough to know whether the sacrifice of their ship has been in vain …
… until an unknown and much more powerful ship appears, slashing effortlessly through the enemy fighters and saving Nkaastu. But who are these newcomers? And will they prove the allies the Ka’ Taand needs … or a new and deadlier enemy?
We get so little backstory in the actual novel that I feel two sentences of crucial backstory in the back cover description is not over the top. I tried it both ways, but for now I prefer the first sentence cut off from the second paragraph. I may rethink that. I hope I have clarified that Nkaastu is definitely a ship and not a person!
There’s plenty of time to tweak this description, but I think it’s pretty good, so I have put No Foreign Sky up for preorder. It will probably be available, with the revised description, very soon.
Meanwhile … think of how CJC started the Foreigner series: with an extended prologue in which we see the very first contact between a human and an ateva. Remember that? Well, that is missing here. We start with the unexpected encounter with the enemy formation and it’s a good long time before anyone spares a thought for the history that led to the blended human/turun civilization. This, right here in the description, is the place where we learn how that happened.
If you’re familiar with Little Fuzzy, H Beam Piper’s novel that was published in 1962, think of that: a small colony, abandoned, failing, devolving into primitive conditions, heading for extinction. Discovery by a much tougher species with plenty of modern technology. That was the exact situation here, but in reverse: a failing human colony was discovered by the turun.
Eventually, I may write a prequel about that discovery. I have the essential first scenes in my head and it would be fun to write the slow realization that humans are actually really intelligent and the social shift from, basically, bedraggled rescued pets to full citizens. And the way that the integration of humans into turun society changes turun society in important ways.
There is also a lead-in from No Foreign Sky to a sequel. I have only a vague outline of where that sequel would go, but on the other hand, I do have a vague outline. But I will need to recover from revision fatigue before I even think of writing that!