What if you land on a planet the day its messiah is born—and you are the only one who can save the baby girl from being murdered? This is what happens in Give Us the Fire!—the memoir of starship medical officer Meg Salazar—is set amid the clash of two cultures, as five survivors of a starship confront an iron-age culture with a strong but warped spirituality. Guarding the baby they rescue, Meg and her four fellow survivors determine to blend in and help the primitive society prosper as best they can with their limited resources. They attract a small following of locals and set up a rudimentary industrial commune on the outskirts of a large city. But the commune’s peaceful aims soon conflict with the brutality of the dominant culture. And despite their efforts to protect her—as soon as the girl (Mioco) comes into womanhood, she runs afoul of the authorities for speaking out against their tyranny. Unstoppable, Mioco is determined to found a new community and wins Meg’s support though not her understanding—since Meg believes that science precludes spirituality. Tragedy follows—but it is not the final word. With the help of Meg and the other crew members, the planetary culture is forever changed.
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