Journey to the Center - Brian Stableford - 1982 Daw Books - Ken W. Kelly Cover

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Blurb: “Set upon the planet Asgard, known to its residents as the Home of Gods, this is begins a trilogy featuring Mike Rousseau. Stableford's also written many short stories about the biotechnological revolution in Interzone magazine.
The galaxy is full of mysteries. Asgard one of the most inexplicable. Many different species & many types of individual sought answers to its enigmas. Anthropologists, fortune hunters, scientists, gangsters, politicians & explorers found reason to congregate on the planet which possibly wasn't a planet. To stand on the artificial surface & wonder how many subcutaneous levels the planet contained, & what, if anything, was at the center, to examine the artifacts on the reachable levels where the temperature approached absolute zero. Artifacts of a civilization far more advanced than any known spacefaring species of the day. Artifacts of a species who possibly still lived at the center--thousands of miles & levels deeper than any explorer had set foot. The general consensus was that Mike Rousseau, an archeological scavenger might be capable of reaching the center & unraveling the mystery of Asgard. Rousseau didn't agree. Unfortunately, the choice wasn't his...”