I bought this novel on a whim 25 years ago. I always liked science fiction and at the time I would buy almost anything that had the word "Zen" in the title. Combine the two and it was a quick sell. It was then, and remains now, one of my favorite science fiction novels. I ordered the first novel to fill in some of the blanks that you get when reading a series. Pirates is a bit of a misnomer - the aliens practice a religion similar to Zen, and a part of that religion is the "redistribution of illusions" as a joke (all posessions can be seen as illusions and so on - it is really funny in the book). Jade Darcy (I always thought that Joan Chen from "Blood of Heroes" would have been a good choice to play her in a movie) Jade is a CARC - a Combat Augmented Reflex Commando - trained to be one of the most lethal fighters in the known worlds and cybernetically boosted to be incredibly fast. She has run away from the military (for very good reasons)and is hiding out on a backwater planet, working as a bouncer in a nightclub. Still one of my favorite action/adventure/sci-fi novels after all these years. I wish Goldin and Mason would write another.