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TRUE NAMES and Other Dangers
The novella "True Names" first appeared as half of a "Binary Star" Dell-double in 1981, and was a Hugo nominee (I remember voting for it as my favorite.) The rest first appeared from 1966 to 1985 - in Analog (3), and Far Frontiers 3. This is the first time any of these have appeared in a Vernor Vinge collection. The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge (2001) was a major retrospective of his work, but "True Names" - his best story - was left out of it. That story was also in an anthology from the same publisher (True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier, 2001) - as 1 of 2 pieces of fiction included.
Here's a plot summary/set-up for the title novella:
The warlock "Mr. Slippery" is Roger Pollack in the "real" world, where he is known as author of interactive novels. His first clue that something is wrong is when the Feds show up at his house, and tell him he will be their spy in the Coven - or else. The Feds have evidence that a major player has riffled through their domain, and want it stopped. When Roger adds the rumor that one of the Coven has taken over a South American country, they get really worried. As Mr. Slippery, he combines forces with another member of the Coven - The Red Witch, Erythrina - and uncovers evidence, with interstellar invasion as the most alarming possible scenario!
Vernor Vinge has just the right touch, knowing what details to show - to support his future and make it believeable. He is also quick to follow up on possibilities of manipulating computer networks by mental interaction. This is not only my favorite by Vinge, but one of my all-time favorite SF novellas by anybody (top 10 for sure.)