This title introduces two complete novels in one volume by New York Times best-selling author Jerry Pournelle, telling of the eternal struggle for independence on two colony worlds - Mars in the not-so-distant future, and a distant world circling another star in the far future, both threatened by powerful forces and faceless bureaucrats. In Birth of Fire , a teenage delinquent on a crowded, corrupt Earth, Garrett was given a choice: rot in prison on Earth, or be deported to Mars to work in the colony there. But on Mars he would find an inner strength that he had never known before, and when Mars revolted against the multinational corporations that controlled the colonist's lives, Garrett was on the front lines in the battle for planetary freedom. King David's Spaceship is set in the same universe as the New York Times bestseller, The Mote in God's Eye . A new Empire has arisen and is annexing Earth's surviving colony worlds. Haven had fallen back to a nineteenth century level of technology, and the basic requirement for a colony world to be admitted to the Empire as a full-fledged member with the right of self-government is that the colony have space travel. Unless Haven can somehow develop a spaceship, and quickly, the planet will be ruled by Imperial agents and the inhabitants will be little more than medieval serfs.