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  • “…reawakened the child in me who loved to watch Star Trek characters solve the problems of mysterious races on faraway worlds. It’s a nicely done puzzle-story, with a clever solution…” —Nancy Fulda

  • “…a fun romp.” —Publishers Weekly

  • “An enjoyable tale filled with broken and repaired familial ties bound together by a father’s love for his daughter.” —Hellnotes

  • “…again showcases something different on the part of Smith. This is very much a con story and the author succeeds in accomplishing his goals at the same time injecting it with speculative elements. The set-up was handled judiciously and the ending delivered on the goods. This piece caters to a sub-genre (or a combination of [...]

  • “The coup-de-grace of this triumvirate of wondrousness .” —Mass Movement Magazine

  • “Smith takes a simple idea and finds potential that many other writers would have overlooked in favour of some easier option. At the story’s heart is the relationship between father and daughter, and the things they do to make this work, rendered with a singular care and tenderness, the appreciation that sometimes we muck up [...]

  • “…a bittersweet story about a con man with the talent to detect luck. The plot is wound up and then discharged with nicely inevitable narrative logic.” —Locus

  • “Another great story, but I’m getting used to that. Deft handling of character and setting (gambling, cons, and the game of life)…” —SF Crowsnest Book Reviews

  • “…packs a powerful emotional punch.” —Dead Reckonings magazine

  • “…a very moving story about a part time gambler, part time con-man who seems to have gotten down luck to a measurable skill. … Another superb story that made this volume such an unforgettable one for me.” —Fantasy Book Critic

  • “There are echoes of Ellison again, and of Ray Bradbury, in this understated and deeply moving tale of a con artist who stumbles across an opportunity to right some of the wrongs of his past. …a deceptively simple narrative of luck, loss, betrayal, and redemption. is handled with honesty and a real understanding of the [...]

  • “…was my favourite of the issue. ‘Enlightenment’ went exactly where I expected it to, but that was where I wanted it to go–I was there for the ride” “Stories great, particularly ‘Enlightenment.’ was just engrossed in the whole thing…and applaud it thoroughly!” “…just blew me away…I was taken away by the lovely prose.” “…provoked some [...]

  • “Nicely judged depictions of alien customs…” —SF Site

  • “…oppressed inhabitants of distant worlds making the ultimate sacrifice in order to bring mankind back to the realisation of what right and wrong truly mean.” —Whispers of Wickedness reviews

  • “Another strong story, looking at humanity’s treatment of indigenous people.” —Best SF

  • “Douglas Smith…succeeds in evoking an alien society with mythic/religious overtones in his moving tale ENLIGHTENMENT.” —New Hope International Review Online

  • “… unexpected twists and a superb ending; the story is as powerful as any in the collection (A++)” —Fantasy Book Critic

  • “… a spiritual undertaking by a member of a brutal planetary occupation force who “goes native” in which Douglas Smith provides a riff on Ray Bradbury’s famous rationale of space travel: for Man to find God in the cosmos. A science fictional depiction of the mistreatment of “aliens” to subvertly criticize the atrocities of imperialist [...]

  • “My favourite of the selection was ‘Enlightenment’ by Douglas Smith. A strange story indeed about Earth people engaged in strip-mining planets and relocating indigenous populations. … The end is horrific in many respects but it’s also thought-provoking.” —SF Crowsnest Reviews

  • “…reaches far past the muddled mediocrity of swashbuckling tales forgotten before the page is turned to the next story. I enjoyed the alien anthropology and the details are tremendous…in this tale of tremendous sacrifice” —Alan Latimore, Tangent Online

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