The stories in this book were written over a six year period, but they represent sixteen years of work in short fiction — more than half my life. In that time, numerous teachers, peers, editors, friends, relatives and employers have stood by me, supported me, blasted me, praised me, tortured me and shored me up.
I’d like to thank them here, in alphabetical order:
The Ad Astra ConComs, Mark Askwith, Darren Atkinson, Jodi BenDavid, Michael Bloom, Grad Conn, the Cecil Street Irregulars, the class of Clarion East 1992 (especially Becky Maines, Janis O’Connor, Cynthia Seelhammer and Cynthia Zender), Avram Doctorow, Gord Doctorow, Neil Doctorow, Roz Doctorow, Gardner Dozois, Scott Edelman, Claire Eddy, Amanda Foubister, Greg Frost, Seymour Goldman, Valerie Goldman, James Gunn and the Sturgeon Award team, Mark Frauenfelder, Glenn Grant, Rusty Halpert, David Hartwell, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, John Henson, Al Hoff, Tanya Huff, Michael Jackel, Sandra Kasturi, James Patrick Kelly, Damon Knight, Donald Maass, Tom Marcinko, Judith Merril, The staff of the Merril Collection (especially head librarian Lorna Toolis), the Novellettes, the On Spec editorial board, Bev Pannikar, Brenda Quinn, Lisa Rein, Matthew Rogers, Tom Robe, Spider Robinson, John Rose, Michelle Sagara, Karl Schroeder, Mary Sheridan, Michael Skeet, Martha Soukup, Bertha Starr, Sam Starr, Bruce Sterling, Sean Stewart, Harriet Wolff, Sheila Williams, Roger Wood and Pat York.
As knowledgeable about computers as he is about flea markets, Doctorow uses science fiction as a kind of cultural WD-40, loosening hinges and dissolving adhesions to peer into some of society’s unlighted corners. His best known story, ”Craphound,” tells of a competitive friendship between two junk collectors, one human and one alien; what it says about the uses of the past is no more mysterious than the prices paid for a vintage Coke bottle or an early Barbie doll. Not every attempt to wrest truth from cliche works — but you won’t want to miss Doctorow’s satiric glance at co-opted dissent among the grade-school set or the insidious horror of his updated Pinocchio tale.
New York Times