Acknowledgements

This book took me five years to write – a personal record – and would not exist without the support and encouragement of a host of friends, and several friendly editors. Among the many people who read and commented on the early drafts are: Andrew J. Wilson, Stef Pearson, Gav Inglis, Andrew Ferguson, Jack Deighton, Jane McKie, Hannu Rajaniemi, Martin Page, Stephen Christian, Simon Bisson, Paul Fraser, Dave Clements, Ken MacLeod, Damien Broderick, Damon Sicore, Cory Doctorow, Emmet O’Brien, Andrew Ducker, Warren Ellis, and Peter Hollo. (If your name isn’t on this list, blame my memory – my neural prostheses are off-line.)

I mentioned several friendly editors earlier: I relied on the talented midwifery of Gardner Dozois, who edited Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine at the time, and Sheila Williams, who quietly and diligently kept the wheels rolling. My agent Caitlin Blasdell had a hand in it too, and I’d like to thank my editors Ginjer Buchanan at Ace and Tim Holman at Orbit for their helpful comments and advice.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who e-mailed me to ask when the book was coming, or who voted for the stories that were shortlisted for awards. You did a great job of keeping me focused, even during the periods when the whole project was too daunting to contemplate.