By John Scalzi
Das späte 21. Jahrhundert: Auf ihrem Weg ins All ist die Menschheit einer Reihe von Alien-Völkern begegnet, mit denen sie Handelsbeziehungen aufnimmt und politische Bündnisse schmiedet. Doch dann kommt es auf einer interstellaren Konferenz zu einem folgenschweren Vorfall: Durch ein Missverständnis stirbt ein Außerirdischer vom Volk der Nidu. Eine kriegerische Auseinandersetzung droht - und nur Harry Creek, genialer Programmierer und Kriegsveteran, kann diesen Krieg verhindern…
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The clerk sat comfortably sprawled with his feet propped on the launcher tube, watching the landscape with a casual interest until they left the mountains and dropped back to the brown monotony of the desert, when he stretched and closed his eyes and went to sleep. Tortured with apprehensive uncertainties, Forester jogged him back to a quiet alertness. " Hoarse with worry, Forester felt that he had to talk. "I'm used to limiting my inquiries to phenomena that are reproducible at will, by mechanical means, under strict controls.
Its air of kindly blind alertness was somehow disturbing, and Forester couldn't help an uncomfortable start when it spoke his name. " Its voice was a mellow golden horn. "Under the provisional agreement, we are to patrol all military installations, to prevent any aggressions before the ratification election. " "But this project isn't a weapon," Forester protested. " He couldn't tell what the humanoid thought; nothing ever changed that serene expression of slightly astonished paternal benevolence.
Forester waited, perched uncomfortably on the damp timber, and White kicked aside a straw bed to stand over him impatiently. "It's a simple, dreadful story. The beginning of it was ninety years ago, on a planet known as Wing IV, nearly two hundred light-years from here at the far side of the colonized section of the galaxy. " Forester stiffened skeptically. " White's smile had a passing glint of malice. " Forester gulped with cold dismay, listening silently. "Ninety years ago," the huge man rumbled, "the planet Wing IV had come to face the same technological crisis that this one does today - the same crisis that every culture meets, at a certain point in its technological evolution.
Androidenträume by John Scalzi