The Cuckoo's Boys

Golden Gryphon HB 2005

Golden Gryphon - October 2005

Hardback Short Story Collection

ISBN 1-930846-37-1

315 pages -- $24.95




"Visionary Futures, Scientific Speculation. In the near-future title story, a lonely genius clones himself -- not once, but millions of times -- by creating a virus that affects pregnant women. Throughout the world, women give birth to baby boys with the genetics of Phillip Stevens. Then a few years later, a man with a mysterious past becomes a mentor to three of these clones -- and as their teacher, he tests and challenges them. Are these boys little more than genetic copies of Stevens? Or are they distinct individuals, with unique personalities and coming-of-age problems?

Advances in virtual technology allow the President of the United States to visit every household of the nation's electorate simultaneously on the "First Tuesday" of each month, and he even stays for dinner.

In "Abducted Souls," published here for the first time, a young college student has defined himself by his alleged alien abduction as a young child. When that abduction comes under scrutiny by his peers, he begins to question his own reality and self-worth.

Also included in this new collection are two stories from Reed's well-regarded "Marrow" universie: "River of the Queen" centers on Quee Lee and Perri, immortal beings enjoying a half-million-year voyage around the galaxy in the Great Ship. In this story, the Queen of the title is kidnapped (or is she?) and Perri assists (or does he?) in her rescue. And in "Night of Time," an ageless human named Ash meets two aliens, one a servant of the other, who Ash discovers to be even older -- and stranger -- than himself, as he helps each of them recover lost memories.

From the sardonic "On the Brink of That Bright New World" (a laborer uses aliens' first contact to cover up a crime of passion) to the intense "Savior" (a military commander is held accountable for tortuous acts that helped saved the human race), this collection exemplifies Library Journal's assertion that Reed's stories evoke "visionary futures and scientific speculation." With a nearly 6,000 Afterword by the author that details the genesis of each story." -- text from the flyleaf of the hardcover

Cover art by Edward Miller.

"With his command of prose, characterization and ideas, Robert Reed is the new century's most compelling voice."
- STEPHEN BASTER, winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award

"Wonderful far-future SF of the best kind: imaginative, epic, mind-blowing."
- ALASTAIR REYNOLDS, author of Revelation Space

  Awards and Other Notes

• Locus Recommended Reading List - 2005


"On the Bring of That Bright New World"; "The Children's Crusade"; "Night of Time"; "River of the Queen"; "The Cuckoo's Boys"; "Winemaster"; "Coelacanths"; "Savior"; "She Sees My Monsters Now"; "Abducted Souls"; "One Last Game"; "First Tuesday"; "Afterword"

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This page last updated: July 24, 2011