This collection of stories showcases the work of George Zebrowski, one of science fiction’s masters and a writer Hugo and Nebula Award winner Robert J. Sawyer has called “one of the most philosophically astute writers in science fiction.” Like the writers Olaf Stapledon, Arthur C. Clarke, and Stanislaw Lem, Zebrowski explores the “big questions”—the expansion of human horizons, and the growth of power over our lives and the world in which we live.
In the title story, scientists push the boundaries of human mentality to keep pace with ever-evolving AIs. In “The Eichmann Variations,” a finalist for the Nebula Award, exact copies of captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann stand trial for his crimes against humanity, while in “The Word Sweep,” all speech must be rationed because spoken words take on physical form. In “Wound the Wind,” another Nebula Award finalist, unchanged humans roam freely until captured by those who know what’s best for them, and in “Stooges,” a visiting alien hijacks the persona of Curly Howard. From hard science fiction (“Gödel’s Doom”) to alternate history (“Lenin in Odessa”) to first alien contact (“Bridge of Silence”), and with an introduction by renowned physicist/writer Gregory Benford, this collection presents one of the most distinctive voices writing in the field of science fiction today.