The Family had never seen a manhunter like it. And when its machine-mind engulfed Cap'n Fanny, they knew Mantis was no simple killing-mech. A collector of human minds, a plunderer of living personalities, Mantis was a weaver of complex, murderous illusions. But why, Killeen wondered, did it indulge in such elaborate variations on slaughter when in a single blast it could destroy the remnants of Mankind
His answer lay waiting in Mantis's extraordinary sensorium, in the museum of living ghosts and defiled spirits which drove the heart of the machine . . .
Gregory Benford (1941 - )
A leading writer of 'Hard SF', Gregory Albert Benford was born in Alabama in 1941. He received a BSc in physics from the University of Oklahoma, followed by an MSc and PhD from the University of California, San Diego. His breakthrough novel, Timescape, won both the Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards, and he has been nominated for the Hugo Award four times and the Nebula twelve times in all categories. Benford has undertaken collaborations with David Brin and Arthur C. Clarke among others and, as one of the 'Killer Bs' (with Brin and Greg Bear) wrote one of three authorised sequels to Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. He has also written for television and served as a scientific consultant on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Gregory Benford lives in California, where he is currently Professor of Plasma Physics and Astrophysics at the University of California, Irvine, a position he has held since 1979.