(From the publisher):
The Soviet Union won the Cold War. Now, more than a century later, the world's gone communist and capitalism is a bad word.
For Gianfranco and Annarita, a couple of teenagers growing up in Milan, life in a regimented, surveillance-rich command economy is just plain dreary. Annarita's a hard-working student and a member of the Young Socialists' League. Gianfranco is a lot less motivated - but on the other hand, his father's a Party apparatchik. The biggest excitement in their lives is a war-game shop called The Gladiator, which runs tournaments and stocks marvelous, complex games you can't find anywhere else.
Then, abruptly, the shop is shut down. Someone's figured out that The Gladiator's games are teaching counterrevolutionary capitalist principles. The Security Police are searching high and low for the shop's proprietors, who've not only disappeared into thin air, but have left behind sets of fingerprints that aren't in the records of any government on earth.
Only one staffer is left: Gianfranco and Annarita's friend Eduardo. On the run, he comes to them with an astonishing story: he's a time trader from our own timeline, accidentally left behind when the store was evacuated. Eduardo can get back to his own timeline only if Gianfranco and Annarita will help him reach one of the other time trader sites in this world - and the Security Police will be on their tails all the way there.
Original title: the Gladiator
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction→ World Versions→ Alternate and Parallel Worlds