Winner of the 2010 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award for unjust obscurity
One of the most literary and innovative science-fiction writers of the early 1950s, Mark Clifton introduced sophisticated psychological insights into the characters who populated his tales of alien encounters, expanding technology, revolution against political theocracy, and space colonization. No matter how fantastic the setting or premise, Clifton provided a narrative voice that made the unlikeliest events seem credible. The title tale of this collection, centering on a psychologist who uncovers a hidden colony of otherworldly invaders and attempts to orchestrate their doom, is accompanied by seven other perceptive and witty stories. Selections include "Sense from Thought Divide," involving a search for poltergeists; "Clerical Error," recounting a doctor's battle against bureaucracy to rescue a patient from a lobotomy; "Star, Bright," in which a father counsels a daughter to protect herself by hiding her intelligence; and other captivating stories.