The Family Trade
Stross dusts off the core conceit of Zelazny's Amber, the dream at the core of adult realist fantasy: you wake up one day to discover that, yes! You really are special! In fact you're a very important person indeed in a parallel universe. Here in Boston you might be a business writer for a right-wing Web site; over there, you're a missing duchess. And in fact you fit right in, because all the Best Families from over there have been sending their kids to our universe for Ivy League educations -- a sort of a grand tour -- before they return to their fantastic, feudal responsibilities.
Stross wanted to write a really long story, of which this is the first installment. It has Stross's customary wit and flair.