Looking for a book/series in which alien ambassadors pose as magicians 4 contact.


New Member
Feb 22, 2007
I'm looking for a sci-fi book where the main character is a women from a technologically advanced civilization that has identified an armada of ships slowly crossing the universe/galaxy towards her home world. In an effort to gain allies in the thousands of years it will take the slow moving fleet to reach their destination, the advanced society sends the women( and others) to a nearby planet with a middle-ages society as am ambassador of sorts. She poses as a magician, until she has an audience with her intended court, and then reveals herself and her true identity as the finale. oddly enough, i can even remember that she's wearing a scarlet gown in the revealing performance. She is, of course, not allowed to tamper with their technological development too deeply, but gives them some engineering tips as a show of good faith. She wears a protective body suit/armor that she is forced to use to protect herself in a scene in a barn, i believe. The story obviosuly stuck with me but I cannot for the life of me remember the author or the book. If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated.
It does vaguely remind me of Iain M Banks' Inversions but I don't think it is it, because although it does have the woman representative of a superior civilisation in a medieval setting and she is forced to protect herself using her high technology (knife missiles), she poses as a doctor rather than a magician and there is no invasion she is trying to defend against, the Culture are just meddlesome.
Hey, I've read it three weeks ago! The book is Walter Jon William's "Ambassador of Progress" from 1984. I have a tor edition (ISBN 081255791). I got it on ebay so I hve no idea if you can find one but, if you manage, buy it, it is really worth the money. An excellent first-contact book.

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