You did a great job of keeping me focused, even during the periods when the whole project was too daunting to contemplate.Portions of this book originally appeared in Asimov's SF Magazine as follows: "Lobsters" (June 2001), "Troubadour" (Oct/Nov 2001), "Tourist" (Feb 2002), "Halo" (June 2002), "Router" (Sept 2002), "Nightfall" (April 2003), "Curator" (Dec 2003), "Elector" (Oct/Nov 2004), "Survivor" (Dec 2004).

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All together your voice type is a result of the following vocal variables: I know that you’re probably surprised at the fact that physical characteristics play a role in deciding somebody’s voice type.

This is because many times physique determines what roles opera singers are going to audition for.

For example, vocal tessitura and timbre can be more important as range can be between types.

This is usually the case with sopranos and mezzo-sopranos; they might have the same range but mezzo-sopranos have a lower tessitura and darker timbre.

It's a hot summer Tuesday, and he's standing in the plaza in front of the Centraal Station with his eyeballs powered up and the sunlight jangling off the canal, motor scooters and kamikaze cyclists whizzing past and tourists chattering on every side.

The square smells of water and dirt and hot metal and the fart-laden exhaust fumes of cold catalytic converters; the bells of trams ding in the background, and birds flock overhead.

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.

His channels are jabbering away in a corner of his head-up display, throwing compressed infobursts of filtered press releases at him.