Picked up this pulp at Twice Sold Tales in the U-District this spring. It looked pulp, and I wasn't disappointed. Here's the basic plot, a couple of youth on a colony planet accidentally run into a member of the M'Threnni race. The M'Threnni are aliens that live offshore and provide much of the raw material that keeps the colony going. Yet no one has seen them in decades and no one knows why they help the colony. The youth become embroiled in the politics of the planet, much of which revolves around theories of what the government should do about the M'Threnni.
In the end, the M'Threnni disappear from the planet just as the first ship in generations arrives from Earth. No one knows why they leave. And the earthmen arrive amid fanfare, revealing that the Chinese pretty much run Earth and the U.S. is a puppet state. They offer the colony a place as a vassal state, which the colony declines. And the book ends.
So I'm confused. There's nothing resolved. The loose ends are on the cables that tie a battleship to the dock. It really seems to me to be the first book in a series, but I can't find a subsequent book.