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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Millions of C. J. Cherryh fans should be preparing thank-you letters to DAW for having the insight to collect into one volume Cherryh's short stories, novellas, and novelettes. Included in the collection are the Hugo Awardwinning "Cassandra" and classics like "The Unshadowed Land" and "Mech," as well as a never-before-published Sunfall story!
"Masks," the new Sunfall tale, takes place in a quixotic Venice of the far future -- a "city at war between sea and land, a city that has found a unique way to be modern, and still to remain so perfectly ancient." Forced into a marriage by her materialistic grandmother, young Giacinta vows to follow her heart, even if it means dishonor and almost certain death. In "Companions," Paul Warren is the last explorer left alive on an idyllic planet after a mysterious plague kills the rest of his team. Left alone with just the ship's artificial intelligence, he searches the lush planet for another sentient form of life -- and finds it in the unlikeliest of places. In 1977's "The Dark King," Death gets outsmarted by King Sisyphos in Corinth when the dark twin of Sleep comes for the king's soul.
Admirers of Cherryh's internationally renowned novels -- Downbelow Station, the Faded Sun trilogy (Kesrith, Shon'jir, Kutath), the epic Foreigner sequence, et al. -- need to read this masterful collection of her short works. Highly intelligent and inexhaustibly imaginative, this versatile collection should be cherished for decades to come. Much more than entertainment, The Collected Short Fiction of C. J. Cherryh is literary history unearthed. Paul Goat Allen