By John Kessel

Take a couple of time-hopping con artists searching for their subsequent mark. upload a naive and increadibly wealthy younger scientist ready to be fleeced. Stir jointly within the unstable political surroundings of Roman-occupied Jerusalem on the time of the Crucifixion. the outcome: a wickedly pleasing mixture of screwball comedy and biting social satire from one in all technological know-how fiction's such a lot venerated authors.

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She had to concentrate on her presentation, though that didn't mean she couldn't spare him an occasional glance. She'd acknowledged his arrival with a semiformal wave of one wing, and his triumvirate had responded synchronously, acknowledging as three the greeting intended for one. She admired his stride, almost a prance, as the trio entered and settled into adjoining pads. After allowing a decent amount of time for late arrivals, she launched into her presentation, beginning with a verbal overview of her most recent work, reading from her next report, and finally dimming the lights and initiating visuals.

So this was combat, she thought. This was the tactile actualization of one intelligent species attempting to destroy another: what the Amplitur had finally resorted to in their attempt to bring the members of the Weave into their all-encompassing Purpose. The unnatural act the representative species of the Weave had been compelled to embrace in order to preserve their independence. Praise to all Elevated Spirits for the existence of the prolific Massood, who had been one of the founding members of the Weave and who had carried the burden of actual fighting for so long.

Of course; certainly. " "No, you don't understand. I have exhausted the literature going back to the first contact between Humankind and the Weave. My own work has already moved beyond anything being done anywhere else. I need" She hesitated as she tried to couch her comments in the most persuasive possible dialect. " The senior didn't react immediately. " "Yes. I feel I can no longer advance by means of impersonal study. I have gone as far as I can. " "Brilliant. Highly original work. One might almost say ingratiating despite the unpleasant nature of the subject matter.

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