The image in the batle cruiser's screens grew - and it was clear that this was a new kind of ship, a new race, the first new civilization the Federation had met in three hundred years. The crew's excitement mounted - the newcomers would be invited to join the Federation, the crew would all be heroes and be awarded enormous bonuses, and - The stranger opened fire with an impressive battery of weapons; the cruiser's defenses cut in automatically, and in a few seconds the unidentified ship was nothing but an expanding cloud of radiant gases. After a thousand years of peace in space, there was a war on. But who was the mysterious and deadly enemy?
December 1977 : USA Paperback