Two murders have occurred on One One One, an artificial ecosystem created by the universe's dominant AIs to house several engineered species, including a violent, sentient race of sloth-like creatures. Under order from the Diplomatic Corps, Counselor Andrea Cort has come to this cylinder world where an indentured human community hangs suspended high above a poisoned, acid atmosphere. Her assignment is to choose a suitable homicide suspect from among those who have sold their futures to escape existences even worse than this one.
"Bold and Original"
Analog Science Fiction & Fact Magazine has provided four edgy stories about heroism, each exploring emotional dimensions uncommon in this or any other genre.
Andrea Cort, protagonist of Emissaries From The Dead and The Third Claw of God, returns with her lovers Oscin and Skye Porrinyard for a visit to the distant planet Vlhan, whose towering inhabitants regularly gather a ritual that is half art-form, half-suicide. Once before, the ritual went wrong, and became a bloody assault on human beings…but that’s history now, and Andrea seeks only information in the ongoing mystery that has come to consume her life.
Andrea Cort became a "war criminal" at the age of eight when an unexplained darkness invaded her soul. Now, decades later, the Devil is calling her.Employed by the Diplomatic Corps but secretly aiding the AI masters of the universe, Counselor Andrea Cort despises the powerful Bettelhines—unrepentant death merchants who have prospered from the annihilation of civilizations.
The seven stories that represent Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine's July and August 2003 issues exhibit an unusual diversity of almost familiar worlds.