Rainier Fields is an identity, a story a man who hated his old life told to himself. An itinerant drifter skilled with robotics, he keeps on keeping on until he sees Mercery Pockels, sixteen years old and with a hideous destiny hanging over her.In warning Mercery, Rainier changes his own destiny, and loses his self.In genre this might be called a picaresque (though the first three quarters of the book jump back and forth in time rather than being a continuous narrative) as Rainier's intervention with Mercery puts him in a very bad place and we follow him through his travails, losing and struggling to regain himself. It might also be considered a character piece, since what we witness is the deconstruction of a personality then put back into a slightly different form. It's also a travelogue, as we move about an immensely complex and lovingly detailed multi-species, many-cultured planet. The pace is leisurely, but the puzzle of what is going on and what is going to happen next always kept a little hook in me as I read.Fans of Stanislaw Lem would likely get the most out of this story. Old-school philosophical science fiction at its most intricate.