Ashen Stars is a very well made game. It's very much a harkening back to older science-fiction from back before it was quite so serious (i.e. when there were aliens) with a modern touch. Ashen Stars is one of the better science-fiction games out there, and it's definitely one of the easier games, though it still manages to maintain sufficient complexity to be worth playing.
The art and typesetting are stellar (no pun intended), and the writing's flowing and well-done. The game immediately engaged me, and I found no issues with it. That said, at $25 it's not the cheapest, but it is professional grade.
[5 of 5 Stars!]