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Everyone starts somewhere.

My first published science fiction began with the words, "I hated the Dutchman at first sight." Those particular words and a few thousand following them were bought by George Scithers, then of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, now of Amazing Stories. George has always been straightforward with me; his responses to my early efforts were harsh, stinging, eminently useful rejections, eventually followed by matter-of-fact rewrite requests and even more matter-of-fact acceptances.

Everything starts somewhere, too.

The schrift, whom some readers may have met in Ties of Blood and Silver and whom they will see another side of in the present work, began with "Forward Private Aaldz," a short-story situation in Barry B. Longyear's superb Science Fiction Writer's Workshop I (published by George Scithers' Owlswick Press; anyone who says he or she wants to write science fiction should either buy a copy or cop to not being serious), which Barry both challenged and invited me to finish. After much work, thought, and change, his lizards became my amphibians, his Aaldz became my Hischteeel, and his "Forward Private Aaldz" became my "Dutchman's Price."

All of which is why this one is

For Barry B. Longyear and George H. Scithers


When I was writing "Like the Gentle Rains" and "In the Shadow of Heaven," I received much sound advice from the members of Haven—Kevin O'Donnell, Jr., Mary Kittredge, Deborah Atherton Davis, and Mark J. McGarry. I even took some of it. The present version of "Dutchman's Mirror" is my rewriting of a collaboration between Mark and myself, which itself was a rewriting of a previous, less successful version.

For all the help, I am grateful.

I'd also like to thank my wife, Felicia Herman, who's been living with—and putting up with—Emile, the Dutchman, and me for longer than I like to think about; my agent, Richard Curtis; Art and Essie Swearsky, for the sunflower seeds; my editor, Sheila Gilbert, for sound advice and inhuman patience; all of the Boskone people, for the obvious; and, as usual, Harry F. Leonard, for the excessive quibbling.

Note to the Reader

You'll quickly notice that Major Alonzo Norfeldt is a drunkard, a smoker, a liar, a thief, a cheat, a braggart, and a bigot. He is also foulmouthed and arrogant.

Just for the record, while I do find some virtues in the man, those aren't them.

Joel Rosenberg

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