SF stories often come up with great introductory sentences. This one must be one of the worst, inventing an incomprehensible mud of abbreviations trying to add atmosphere:
Morgan Abutti; B.Sc. Bio.; M.Sc. Arch.; Ph.D. Astr. & Nat, Sci.; 4th degree Thalassocrete; Member, Planetary Society; and Associate Fellow of the New Garaden Institute, stared at the map that covered the interior wall of his tiny office in the Institute’s substantial brownstone in downtown Highpassage.
The whole novella is a kind of cover version of Galileo thinly disguised in an alternate world. The original masterpiece by Bertold Brecht addresses scientist’s ethical responsibility in a way that this novella simply doesn’t reach at all. Do yourself a favour and read Galileo instead of wasting your time with this overlong work by Lake.
In conclusion I don’t understand how this came to Hugo and Nebula award nominations or how it got to be part of The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection.