Set in the same universe as The Parafaith War (but two centuries later, and intended to be read independently), The Ethos Effect is the story of Commander Van C. Albert of the Republic Space Force of Taran, a brave and resourceful officer who once defeated a larger enemy ship but indirectly caused the loss of a civilian liner in the process. Cleared by the board of inquiry, but an embarrassment to the high command, he retains his commission but is given only dead-end assignments. For a time, he must watch helplessly as cold war among economic, religious, and political rivals evolves toward interstellar open warfare.
Assigned as a military attache to the Taran embassy on Scandya, Van is seriously wounded foiling an assassination. Decorated, promoted, and summarily retired while still in a coma, he wakes to find himself honorably but intolerably unemployed. When the harmless-sounding Integrated Information Systems foundation of the Eco-Tech Coalition recruits him to fly a starship, Van finds he now has a powerful new vantage point, not just for observation but for action. IIS has interests everywhere, and Van is not just a pilot but their point man in a conflict that will shake the worlds.