An unabashed promulgator of the Internet and its democratic potential,
\t\t Doctorow (Eastern Standard Tribe) explores
\t\t the benefits and consequences of online systems in this provocative collection
\t\t of six mostly long stories. "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth" is a moving
\t\t chronicle of a widely dispersed network of techno-geeks laboring to keep the
\t\t World Wide Web running as an epitaph to an earth devastated by a bioweapon
\t\t apocalypse. In "After the Siege"â€”the bleak chronicle of a modern siege of
\t\t Stalingradâ€”the horrors of war become fodder for a documentary film crew's
\t\t reality-based entertainment. Two tales riff on classic SF themes: "I, Robot,"
\t\t in which Isaac Asimov's positronic bots are cogs in a dysfunctional future
\t\t totalitarian state, and "Anda's Game," a brilliant homage to Orson Scott Card's
\t\t Ender's saga, in which a role-playing enthusiast finds herself immersed in a
\t\t surprisingly real world of class warfare fought online by avatars of game
\t\t players. Most "meat"-minded readers will find much to savor.