Among the creatures:
* The tentacled Purulu, galactic meddlers and misers. These radioactive octopi can buy anything they want . . . except a world of their own.
* The Memer and Saret, tramp steamers of the spaceways. These symbiotic partners rarely eat and don't need air or warmth; their slow, leaky ships are vital to galactic commerce.
* The obsessively curious Irari, long-loved winged bipeds who hire other races to do the boring task of ruling them.
* The callous Verms (short for "vermin") – a hungry hive of mind-controlling crabs, who can devour a human community from within.