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British Science Fiction award winner Ian Watson graces us here with a brilliant new collection of short stories and essays.

Though he dazzles the reader with his footwork in the kaleidoscope intensity of his vision, each piece is plainly the work of a master craftsman. Whether he is dealing with a future culture where whales control us ("The Culling") or taking a hilarious poke at the matter of government funding ("The President's Not for Turning"), his concepts are clear and undeniably logical.

True to the highest ideal of science fiction, Watson carries present tendencies of our society to possible conclusions in "Roof Gardens under Saturn," and points a warning finger at the consequences of alienation from the environment.

In an innovative style which borders on the experimental, Watson explores in "The Pharaoh and the Mademoiselle" the horrors of fascism.

Ian Watson's writing stays with us. He entertains and he makes us think. If in some future and better world politicians were to take advice form writers, Watson should be one of them.

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