Can they survive the wastes in their new bodies from the vats of Gweth?
For Doug Lawrence, a construction engineer, the new telecommunications facility on the remote Indonesian island of Bahala is just another posting. For Dr Julie Foster, travelling halfway across the world to take up a position as site doctor, it is a scary leap into the unknown, an escape from the ordered life of a hospital doctor.
When certain aspects of the construction work and Julie's position as site doctor don't really seem to make sense, they find that the installations being built are not what they seem, but are for Gateways to two other worlds, parallel to Earth but existing in different dimensions.
On one of these worlds, Meerland, Julie and Doug find themselves reluctantly drawn into aiding the gnome-like Meerlanders in their fight against the Thaerlons; intelligent, bear-like creatures who come in marauding groups from an icy wasteland to the north. In Gweth, the second world, they encounter an advanced alien society where their consciousness is transferred to other, alien bodies by a process called body hopping.
Can they really help the Meerlanders, hampered by their primitive culture@ Initially drawn together, their relationship is tested by the stresses and dangers they face and they find themselves wondering what they want for the future.