Decision at Doona
With Terra critically overpopulated, humanity is searching the stars for new planets to colonize. After the first human contact with the alien Siwannese went badly (that entire race committed mass suicide), the Terran government made a law – no further contact would be allowed with sentient creatures anywhere in the galaxy. Therefore, the newly discovered planet Doona could only be colonized if an official Space Department survey established that the planet was both habitable and uninhabited.
However, the newly arrived colonists discover Spacedep had made a mistake- Doona was inhabited. The native cat-like Hrrubans present the human colonists with a difficult choice: obey the law by leaving Doona and returning to the teeming hell of an overpopulated Terra, or kill the cat-like Hrrubans and hide the fact they ever existed from the Terran government.
What the humans don't know is that the people they've misidentified as nomadic natives are actually more technically advanced than themselves, and the Hrrubans have their own colonization plans for Doona. Yet their planetary colonization laws leave the Hrrubans facing the same choice as the humans: return to an overpopulated homeworld, or kill the aliens.
Or, for the first time in both of their histories, they could learn how to co-exist with an alien race.
Decision at Doona has been published in 12 editions, including German, French, Italian, and Spanish translation. The most recent (English) printing was by DelRay, October 1987 - ISBN: 978-0345353771
- Decision at Doona at The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey, the author's official website