By Melissa Scott
Five years after the Manfred riots, the question of machine intelligence is still a dangerous one on Persephone, and the coolie rights organization Realpeace is not prepared to let it go. For conjurer Celinde Fortune and her musician cousin Fanning Jones, the conflict is a distant one — until the murder of a popular musician raises the stakes even for the most determinedly uninvolved. And when Fortune acquires a new Spelvin construct to manage her magic act—one originally owned by an FTL pilot named Reverdy Jian—she is thrust suddenly into the middle of the problem. Because this construct is something different, and that difference can get them all killed.