By Gardner R. Dozois
An anthology of usually overlooked technology fiction stories comprises tales via William Gibson, Pat Murphy, Cordwainer Smith, Joanna Russ, Gene Wolfe, Roger Zelazny, and twenty-one different writers.
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Lighting fixtures from the floating houseboats glowed yellow and wan watermelon-red. The shore used to be darkish; the Night-men might almost immediately come slinking to paw via refuse and stare jealously around the water. In 9 days the Buenaventura got here earlier Sirene on its normal time table; Thissell had his orders to come back to Polypolis. In 9 days, may he find Haxo Angmark? 9 days weren’t too many, Thissell determined, yet they may in all likelihood be sufficient. * * * days handed, and 3 and 4 and 5. on a daily basis Thissell went ashore and once or more an afternoon visited Rolver, Welibus and Kershaul. each one reacted another way to his presence. Rolver was once sardonic and irritable; Welibus formal and no less than superficially affable; Kershaul gentle and artful, yet ostentatiously impersonal and indifferent in his dialog. Thissell remained both bland to Rolver’s dour jibes, Welibus’ jocundity, Kershaul’s withdrawal. and each day, returning to his houseboat he made marks on his chart. The 6th, the 7th, the 8th day got here and handed. Rolver, with relatively brutal directness, inquired if Thissell wanted to rearrange for passage at the Buenaventura. Thissell thought of, and stated, “Yes, you had higher reserve passage for one. ” “Back to the area of faces. ” Rolver shuddered. “Faces! in all places pallid, fish-eyed faces. Mouths like pulp, noses knotted and punctured; flat, flabby faces. I don’t imagine i may stand it after dwelling the following. fortunately you haven’t turn into a true Sirenese. ” “But I won’t be going back,” stated Thissell. “I notion you sought after me to order passage. ” “I do. For Haxo Angmark. He’ll be returning to Polypolis within the brig. ” “Well, well,” acknowledged Rolver. “So you’ve picked him out. ” “Of course,” stated Thissell. “Haven’t you? ” Rolver shrugged. “He’s both Welibus or Kershaul, that’s as shut as i will make it. as long as he wears his masks and calls himself both Welibus or Kershaul, it capability not anything to me. ” “It capacity very much to me,” acknowledged Thissell. “What time the next day to come does the lighter move up? ” “Eleven twenty-two sharp. If Haxo Angmark’s leaving, inform him to be on time. ” “He’ll be here,” acknowledged Thissell. He made his traditional name upon Welibus and Kershaul, then returning to his houseboat, positioned 3 ultimate marks on his chart. The proof used to be right here, simple and convincing. no longer totally incontrovertible proof, yet adequate to warrant a distinct flow. He checked over his gun. the next day, the day of choice. He might find the money for no mistakes. The day dawned vivid white, the sky just like the within an oyster shell; Mireille rose via iridescent mists. Toby and Rex sculled the houseboat to the dock. the remainder 3 out-world houseboats floated somnolently at the sluggish swells. One boat Thissell watched specifically, that whose proprietor Haxo Angmark had killed and dropped into the harbor. This boat shortly moved towards the shore, and Haxo Angmark himself stood at the entrance deck, donning a masks Thissell had by no means obvious earlier than: a development of scarlet feathers, black glass and spiked eco-friendly hair. Thissell used to be pressured to appreciate his poise.