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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Refill the prescription for your most potent anti-anxiety medication and schedule an appointment with the psychiatrist as soon as possible! From editor extraordinaire Lou Anders comes an anthology of 16 science fiction tales -- some terrifying, some triumphant -- from some of the masters of speculative fiction that, according to Anders, "envisions the dangers lying in wait for us on the road ahead, or lurking just around the corner of history."
Included in this killer collection are stories by Paul Di Filippo, Kevin J. Anderson, Robert Charles Wilson, John Meaney, Alan Dean Foster, Robert J. Sawyer, and Louise Marley. Noteworthy stories include Mike Resnick and Harry Turtledove's collaboration "Before the Beginning," where the authors ask what would happen if humankind could construct a device capable of viewing every single second of history (Did Jesus exist? Who killed JFK? Did O.J. really do it?.), including the moments before the Big Bang; and Di Filippo's "Shuteye for the Timebroker," which envisions a future where, with the help of anti-somnolence drugs, humankind never has to sleep. Alex Irvine's "Homosexuals Damned, Film at Eleven," arguably the most disturbing story in the collection, visits an oppressive future America where religion and government have become one and the same.
As has come to be expected from Anders (editor of 2003's Live Without a Net and editorial director of Pyr, the science fiction/fantasy imprint from Prometheus Books), this anthology is as thematically compelling and thought-provoking as it is wildly original. From artificial intelligence sold on streetcorners to future utopias populated by genetic vigilantes, this collection is -- not surprisingly -- extraordinary. Paul Goat Allen