The Zanat (singular Zan) were an alien race on the other side of the Orion Nebula from Earth. About AD 3240 they succeeded in capturing and/or destroying four Loki Salvage Service scout ships exploring their side of the Nebula. Erasmus Chang was sent to investigate.

The Zanat were a humanoid species, taller and thinner than humans. They had narrow, fox-like faces with long jaws filled with carnivore teeth and covered in reddish-yellow fur. The most distinctive feature was that their knees bent in the opposite direction to humans. Zanat normally went about naked except for footwear and belts with pouches.

When Chang landed on their conquered planet Slayor, he found their military technology on par to mid-20th century Earth. The spaceport had fortifications protecting the field and the Zanat had deployed atmospheric flyers and armed armored vehicles that resembled human technology. Foot soldiers were also deployed. In addition to boots and belts, the soldiers had helmets and rifles that at first glance resembled the ubiquitous Kalashnikovs but on closer inspection had a different design aside from their curved magazines.

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