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Genre: Science Fiction, Anthology
This is the first short-story collection from prolific author Modesitt. The 19 stories, ranging from hard science fiction to fantasy, are intelligent and thought provoking. Despite the short format, the characters are well developed, with real insight into motivation, and intriguing plots make each one a satisfying read.
This diverse collection begins with a story first published in 1973. "The Great American Economy" is a portent of today's computer-related crime. Computer technology is used to manipulate the legal system in "Rule of Law." "The Swan Pilot" deals with hallucinations during space travel. Other themes include hypocrisy, military adventure, artificial intelligence and betrayal.
Three stories have never before been published. The first, "Black Ordermage," features Cassius of the Saga of Recluce. "Beyond the Obvious Wind" is the story that inspired the The Corean Chronicles, and "Always Outside the Lines: Four Battles" deals with truth and perception. (TOR, Mar., 352 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed By: Gail Pruszkowski
Published: March 2008