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KLIATTBehind many good SF novels are riveting short stories. Seven well-respected short stories are included in this anthology. Probably the most well-known choice is Card's "Ender's Game," which shows how young people's gaming expertise can have international consequences. Willis's "FireWatch" provides a time travel analysis of the salvation of St. Paul's Cathedral during WW II, a story that led to her Doomsday Book. Varley's "Air Raid" notes how people were kidnapped and transported to a new planet; this story was expanded into Millennium. McCaffrey's "Lady in the Tower" combines mind and heart in outer space, and lays the groundwork for The Rowan. Brin's "The Postman" shows the power of the uniform. Bear's "Blood Music" traces the evolution of biochips. Kress's "Beggars in Spain" offers an interesting allegory about discrimination, focusing on the genetically engineered sleepless population. This one-volume compendium of leading short stories provides a rare opportunity for readers to sample a variety of SF subgenres. KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2006, Penguin, DAW, 321p., Ages 12 to adult.
—Dr. Lesley Farmer