In the seventeen stories collected here, multiple award-winning author Paul McAuley takes a fresh look at staple themes spanning science fiction, horror, and alternate history. A hero who once helped repel an alien invasion, ruined by self-doubt after his bruising experiences in the eye of the media, must try to save the world all over again. Best-selling author Philip K. Dick confronts Richard Nixon and a conspiracy that has taken control of America. A book dealer discovers strange and dangerous rivals on the far side of the internet. A science-fiction fan explains why he became a serial killer. And in 'Cross Roads Blues', the course of American history hangs on the decision of an itinerant musician.