Booklist Review

What could be better than a new novel of the Company? A collection of the Company's mysterious, powerful operatives' highly entertaining adventures — that's what. Plucked from their lives in times ranging from neolithic California to the twenty-fourth century, those cybernetically enhanced agents are dispatched to later eras to discover (i.e., steal) rare plants, art treasures, and literary masterpieces. In "Old Flat Top," an enterprising Cro-Magnon boy finds the hermit atop a mountain much older and less peaceful than anyone suspected. In "The Literary Agent," casually hip Joseph negotiates with feverish Robert Louis Stevenson to develop an adventure flick to be produced hundreds of years later. Particularly appealing in several stories is young Alex, born, or at least delivered, to wealthy, dissolute parents in the highly regimented twenty-fourth century. His brain isn't quite like other children's, and his gift for rewiring computer systems is astonishing. His liberating encounter with the dispirited hologram of Shakespeare in "The Dust Enclosed Here" will satisfy every lover of the bard. Funny, poignant, thought-provoking, altogether excellent stories.

— Roberta Johnson

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