In these nine exraordinary tales, acclaimed author PAUL J. MCAULEY--winner of the Philip K. Dick, British Fantasy Society, John W. Campbell Memorial, and Aruthur C. Clarke Awards--explores the wonders and dangers of biotechnology and its creations in stories whose settings careen from a distant alternate past to a breathtaking far-flung future. In a sixteenth-century Venice, transformed by a premature Industrial Revolution, a physian mourning his daughter's passing meets a mountebank with the power to raise the dead. In a tomorrow of raw and terrible beauty, revolutionaries struggle to free genetically engineered creatrues fated to die in combat games and violent sexual encounters. And ten million years in the future, on an artificial world orbiting an immense black hole, a civilization of awesome strangeness and complexity created--and abandoned--by the Godlike Preservers is about to meet the human ancestors of its makers.
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