Thanks first for the forebearance: to Mike Brander, one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet, for not sueing me after I inadvertently named a psychopath after him in the last book.

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Thanks next for the help: Laurie Channer, Nalo Hopkinson, Brent Hayward, and Bob Boyczuk all poked and prodded an embryonic stage of the first few chapters. Laurie also endured my endless stream-of-consciousness rambling as I tried to fit all the pieces together; hopefully her sacrifice has spared the rest of you from a similar fate. My agent, Don Maass, made a vital criticism of opening chapters which resulted in a whole new plot thread (and hopefully, less "straining for effect"). David Hartwell edited with his usual renowned acumen, even if he did force me to cut the exploding daddy scene. (In hindsight, I think that was a wise decision.)

I also got diverse technical assistance from other folks with postgraduate degrees like mine, the difference being that theirs were in subjects that actually proved to be good for something. Prof. Denis Lynn, of the University of Guelph, provided not answers but questions, and lines of enquiry for me to pursue. (It's been twenty years since I took a course from the man and he's still forcing me to think for myself.) He also donated a copy of Lodish et al.'s "Molecular Cell Biology" to the cause, a text which easily outweighs the yellow pages for the GTA. Isaac "Buckaroo Banzai" Szpindel—an MD, neurologist, sf-writer, screenwriter, and (no shit) electrical engineer—helped me out with the chemistry of guilt, and suggested plausible field strengths for rifter implants. He also kept me from slipping into steroid psychosis during a massive poison-ivy infection while I was writing this book. Drs. Alison Sinclair and Fran Terry offered insights, suggestions, and/or overheads on matters microbial. Colin Bamsey told me what kind of alpine trees would be likely to survive the great warming.

Given a world in which Quebec has become the predominant economic power, I figured various Quebecisms would have worked their way into casual N'Am conversation—hence all those italicised expletives that left most of you scratching your heads. For a crash course in how to be foul-mouthed in Canada's Other Official Language, I thank Joel Champetier, Glenn Grant, Daniel Sernine, and Jean-Louis Trudel, even though they couldn't come up with an alliterative translation for "blood-spewing semen-sucking sickle-celled savior". (They did, however, dissuade me from turning "Celine Dion" into a swear word. Just barely.)

Once again, the music of Ian Anderson and the inestimable Jethro Tull kept me company during the many long nights it took to lay this puppy to rest. As did the music of REM, from whom I stole a couple of chapter titles.

My thanks to all of these for their efforts and/or inspiration, and apologies for all the stuff I probably got wrong anyway.