Booklist Review



Watson introduces this diverse collection of his stories with a discussion of whether consciousness is the result of storytelling. Regardless of whether or not the subsequent stories produce consciousness, they certainly don't induce its opposite. "Three Legged Dog" is an unusual take on using AI to avenge abused animals. "A Day without Dad" extrapolates certain aspects of eldercare into a definitely dystopian future. "The Amber Room" nods to fantasy in general and H. P. Lovecraft in particular, but is image-laden without being purple in its prose. "Caucus Winter" is a singularly creepy variation on the theme of the future dominated by the extreme right. Although few of the stories radiate optimism, Watson's eye and ear for vivid detail, contemporary and futuristic, offsets occasional slow pacing, and ensures an even level of high quality throughout the book.

— Roland Green

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