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28 Feb

A novel by Charles Stross Copyright © Charles Stross, 2005 Published by Ace Books, New York, July 2005, ISBN 0441012841 Orbit Books, London, August 2005, ISBN 1841493902 Copyright © Charles Stross, 2005.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivs 2.5 License.

" Manfred taps his left heel on the pavement, looking round for a way out of this conversation. They're all zero-sum cannibals." A thought occurs to him.A tourist boat putters by in the canal; the sails of the huge windmill overhead cast long, cool shadows across the road. "Am organization formerly known as KGB dot RU." "I think your translator's broken." He holds the phone to his ear carefully, as if it's made of smoke-thin aerogel, tenuous as the sanity of the being on the other end of the line. Am apologize for we not use commercial translation software.The windmill is a machine for lifting water, turning wind power into dry land: trading energy for space, sixteenth-century style. Interpreters are ideologically suspect, mostly have capitalist semiotics and pay-per-use APIs. " Manfred drains his beer glass, sets it down, stands up, and begins to walk along the main road, phone glued to the side of his head.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.