Though this book shares the same setting, background and many of the same characters and situations as my 1990 novelette Towards Kilimanjaro, it is not a direct sequel to that story, but rather an expansion and refinement of its ideas. Readers of both may notice a number of seeming inconsistencies; these are deliberate; Towards Kilimanjaro should be read as a working prototype for this book.

Thanks to CEM Computers, who saved a sizeable portion of this book from cybernetic nirvana (always back up. Always back up). Thanks also to Trisha for her inestimable help in the early stages of this work, and in all things.