What would you do if you had absolute power? If you could walk invisibly in a crowd, knowing that no one would see or remember you? What if you could take any action you desired, knowing that there was no penalty, no judgement, no repercussion?
What if you found out someone else already had that power?
When I saw a copy of Spider Robinson's "Deathkiller" on the store shelves, my first thought was that somehow the author and the publisher had slipped one over on me; a new tale of telepathy and humanity had bypassed hardcover publication and gone directly to mass-market release. When I turned the book over and read that this was a single-volume re-release of his earlier works "Mindkiller" and "Time Pressure" I very nearly set it right back down.
The only thing that saved me (and you, if you haven't read it yet for the very same reason) is my longtime habit of reading the Author's Notes even before purchasing a new book. In his Notes, Robinson talks a little about his reasons for this re-issue, and about some of the changes made in this edition.
Yep, that's right. Changes. Nothing of major plot-changing importance, but little things that you would never have seen had the author not pointed them out in his Notes. Robinson wants the story to get into your head, to make you believe, and by changing some minor background elements and advancing the calendar a few years he subtly transforms the world of "Deathkiller" into a familiar place you can easily live in.
If you are a Spider Robinson fan, this is a necessary addition to your collection. Even if you already own a copy of "Mindkiller" and "Time Pressure", this revised edition still reads like vintage Robinson; and it makes a terrific way to introduce a friend to a world which (the author hopes) is very like our own.