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Synopsis

The Element of Surprise
Comrades in arms Meg Nichols and Allie Oshikawa just want to enjoy the concert during their brief leave on Jupiter's moon. Some local rabble, though, mistakes the soldiers for easy targets.

Weights and Measures
Technology: the best—if not the only measure—by which to judge a planet? If not, what other criteria apply? And how much weight should they carry when a new world petitions to join the interplanetary union?

Line of Duty
Seven generations of women. Seven generations of soldiers. With the youngest about to graduate from the academy, her grandmother and great-great-grandmother strive to make it to the ceremony on time..

Treasure
Thieves take advantage of a careless captain and highjack his cargo of precious gems. His friends chase after it, trying to recover it before anyone else learns of the theft—and before the thieves sell it.

Quarry
Ten-ton spiders already call the planet home. The incoming colonists discover the arachnids, with deadly consequences. Can the humans communicate before the natives eat all of them?

Starburst
One young commander on a remote interstellar base stands between Earth and all-out invasion. She fights to keep the aliens at bay, even if it costs her her life.

I Don't Step on Ants
Evacuating a dozen scientist before catastrophe strikes: no problem. Preventing the moon-sized asteroid from slamming into a planet teeming with life: huge problem. And the researchers there expect a war-weary captian to help them solve it and avert the extinction of an entire world.

Invisibility
A group of people flees, wanting only solitude to avoid any and all threats to their pacifism. When another starship discovers their hiding place, their secrecy clashes with the other crew's wish to leave.

Crystal of Souls
An ancient artifact with religious significance and perhaps even mysterious power. Religious leaders want it to unite the planet. Military leaders want it to stop a war. Their enemies want it to prevent both.

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