This is a science fiction short story, a very different animal from the author's usual epic fantasy. It has all his trademark humour, fortunately (I love a book which makes me laugh), and is satisfyingly sharp and snappy, with a neat twist at the end, as required by all self-respecting short stories. It's also deeply thought-provoking and unsettling. I can't say much more without giving away the surprise, but the old adage 'be careful what you wish for' comes to mind. How the reader interprets it says as much about them as about the story itself, to be honest. A very interesting piece of writing. I'm not sure it has the legs to be expanded to novel-length, but it works very well in this format. Four stars.