By Philip K. Dick

Il a obtenu en 1962 le Prix Hugo. Jusqu'à sa mort en 1982, il est resté au top-rated rang des auteurs de S-F avec Ubik, Dr Bloodmoney, Blade runner, etc.

Sur cette Terre de l'avenir, le jeu décide du kind des hommes. Tel qui oeuvrait servilement dans une colonie industrielle peut devenir du jour au lendemain maître du monde, Meneur de Jeu, si les hasards des combinaisons atomiques du minimax en décident ainsi.
C'est ce qui arrive à Leon Cartwright, easy réparateur électronicien. Mais dans ce monde du XXIIIe siècle, l'assassinat légal du Meneur de Jeu est autorisé. Dès son arrivée au pouvoir, Cartwright se despatched menacé de toutes components, malgré le corps de policiers télépathes qui est chargé de sa protection.
Encore ne sait-il pas que l'assassin qui le traque n'est pas humain et que rien ne peut l'arrêter.

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Surely not. . She awakened deep in the night with a start. She sat up, and he came over to her. "I'm glad you're awake. " He pressed his combat knife into her hand. "That carcass seems to be attracting something. " She stretched, got up, and selected a suitable brand. She followed him down into the watercourse, rubbing her eyes. The flickering orange light made jumpy black shadows that were almost harder to see into than plain starlight. As they reached the water's edge she caught movement out of the corner of her eye, and heard a scrambling among the rocks and a familiar hiss.

Curiosity prodded her, mulling on his words. " Cordelia's stomach tightened. " He frowned into the distance. They struggled up and trudged on through the woods. The Barrayaran tried to help her more with Dubauer, for a time. But Dubauer recoiled from him, and between the ensign's resistance and his own bad leg, the awkward attempt failed. All his concentration seemed focused on pushing himself ahead just one more step, but he muttered to himself alarmingly. Cordelia had a nasty vision of collapse and fevered delirium, and no faith at all in her ability to take over his role of identifying and contacting a loyal member of his crew.

You could never overlook this," stated Gottyan uncertainly. One does not weep for the living, she thought, but for the dead; in that moment, while Vorkosigan still doubted, she knew he intended to fire. She brought her stunner up, took careful aim, and squeezed off a burst. It buzzed weakly, but it was enough to bring Gottyan, head turning at the sudden movement, to his knees. Vorkosigan pounced on the disruptor, then relieved him of his plasma arc and knocked him to the ground. "Damn you," croaked Gottyan, half-paralyzed.

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