The subjects of the stories in Reed's new collection range from an unexpected side-effect of first contact in "On the Brink of That Bright New World," in which a man describes a crime of passion he got away with because everyone was distracted by the news, to a virtual projection of the president visiting every household in the nation on "First Tuesday." In between are more stories of first contact, including "The Children's Crusade," the titular subject of which is, depending on point of view, either much more hopeful or vastly more terrible than its namesake, for in it the income and enthusiasm of children are used to fund space missions. Reed turns to alien civilizations living together on an unimaginably vast ship in "River of the Queen" and "Night of Time" (the latter, Reed says in the afterword, may be the seed of a novel). Reed's stories afford mysterious and occasionally creepy glimpses of futures that are sometimes strange, sometimes totally familiar.
— Regina Schroeder, Booklist
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