"Send me your tired, your poor, your hopeless, yearning to be free. To them I raise the lamp beside the brazen door. . ."
So reads the inscription over the portal to the euthanasia center.
From a common storyhook - Bailey's death at the Euthanasia Center - each author was commissioned to extrapolate his own individual vision of Bailey's fate. No two even remotely resemble one another.
In Poul Anderson's "The Fatal Fulfillment" Bailey is discovered practicing the secret device of painting, is committed to Hospital to be saved and made sane...but that is only the beginning.
Frank Herbert's foray into Euthanasia in "Murder Will In" gives Bailey the realization of the Tages/Bacit occupying his body and the tremendous battle they must face for survival.
"Maverick" by Gordon R. Dickson is a beautiful story of a parallel world where men have wings and will die for their guilds. Bailey slips through a portal of time and in a battle for life discovers a profitable black market operation.
Harlan Ellison's "The Region Between" stuns and dazzles as Bailey's soul is stolen by an enigmatic, omnipotent Succubus - sending it on a series of extra-galactic journeys that culminates finally in a memorable nightmare.
Keith Laumer's "Of Death What Dreams" is a story of the ultimate in gambling - Booking the Vistat Run, a game based on the nightly fluctuations of life and death among the countless millions of poor and wretched in the world.
(slightly modified from the book jacket)
Original title: Five Fates
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction
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