How far would a person go to protect a loved one? That question is at the heart of many of the 17 stories in McAllister's career-spanning collection. The Vietnam-era novelette "Dream Baby" (later expanded into a novel) is a powerful story of a combat nurse suffering from prophetic dreams. In "The Faces Outside" and the title story, young women offer their bodies to save endangered species. "The Ark" and "Kin" find people desperate to save their family members, while "Assassin" and "Moving On" explore the limits of family ties, and "Angels" portrays an elderly woman's effort to create a perfect son, no matter the cost. "The Boy in Zaquitos" pits a near-future "Typhoid Mary" analogue against his creators. Twilight Zone-style twists drive "Southpaw," an alternate history story about star baseball player Fidel Castro; "World of the Wars," the story of a Mars colony gone wrong; and "Benji's Pencil," about a man awakened from cryosleep who finds the future isn't what he expected. McAllister's haunting work will enthrall any reader who appreciates thoughtful, evocative science fiction. (Oct.)
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