Night Train to Rigel

Quadrail (Volume 1)

Timothy Zahn

Tor Books

It all starts when a man comes to deliver a message to Frank Compton--only to fall dead at his feet. What follows is a suspenseful thriller that only Timothy Zahn, a master of hard SF adventure, could have written.

More than two hundred years from now, the Quadrail transportation system run by the enigmatic Spiders connects civilizations throughout the galaxy. But someone is threatening the entire system and the worlds it serves with a military force that could wreak interstellar havoc. Worse yet, a more subtle and sinister threat lurks: the Modhri, whose unique coral is prized throughout the galaxy, but which has properties that may create addiction--or worse. Compton, a sharp investigator, lost his job with Earth's security forces when he exposed a corrupt scheme that had roots in high places. Enlisted by the Spiders to find out who's trying to take over the Quadrail, he's got his hands full, because he's got beings of many races gunning for him to keep him from discovering a far-flung conspiracy that could destroy every civilization in the galaxy.

The result is one of Zahn's most memorable and compelling novels in years.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


Read an Excerpt

ONE :He was leaning against the side of an autocab by the curb as I walked through the door and atmosphere curtain of the New Pallas Towers into the chilly Manhattan night air. He was short and thin, with no facial hair, and wore a dark brown overcoat with a lighter brown shirt and slacks beneath it. Probably no more than seventeen or eighteen years old, I estimated, the sort of person you wouldn’t normally give a second look to if you passed him on the walkway.Which was why I gave him a very careful second look as I headed down the imported Belldic marble steps toward street level. I had


Praise for Night Train to Rigel

"The direction Manta's Gift ultimately takes is inventive and unexpected . . . Zahn plays out his suspense as deftly as always, building a tense situation and ultimately defusing it in believable and pleasing ways."

"Through in-depth characterization, as well as toothsome scientific and political mysteries, Zahn unfold an intricate tale of adventure sure to please his many fans."
--Publishers Weekly on Angelmass

"Mixes fantasy and contemporary adventure very well, creating something both entertaining and interesting. A very enjoyable read."
--Fantastica Daily on The Green and the Gray

"Recently I was asked if anyone was still writing the kind of grand space adventure like Heinlein's juveniles or Andre Norton's tales that enticed so many people into science fiction fandom. Now I have the answer and it is a resounding yes! Zahn rocks!"
--Genrefluent on Dragon and Soldier

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Timothy Zahn

  • Timothy Zahn has written more than twenty SF novels and six Star Wars tie-in novels, including the all-time bestselling Heir to the Empire. His YA novel Dragon and Thief was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Zahn won a Hugo Award for his novella "Cascade Point." He resides in coastal Oregon.
  • Timothy Zahn Kent Akselsen
    Timothy Zahn


Available Formats and Book Details

Night Train to Rigel


Timothy Zahn



Tor Books