First of a new venture (see also Barrett and Turtledove, below) under the general title Isaac Asimov Presents: this one's a fairly routine medium-future war yarn. In the late 21 st century, with Earth a depopulated rural backwater, the outer Colonies (on the asteroids, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, etc.) are being squeezed economically and politically by the dominant near-Earth Orbitals. The Colonies' only recourse, according to the manipulative, powerful Dr. Mendenhall, is war--but the Colonies are both outnumbered and outgunned. So Mendenhall arranges to send young combat veteran Saul Pareto down to Earth, where the thinly-spread farmers are chafing under the brutal, autocratic neocolonial rule of the Orbitals. If Saul, and others like him, can stir up a full-scale revolt, the Orbitals will be forced to send down their troops to quell it, leaving the Orbitals open to a preemptive strike by the Colonies. Readers will not be surprised to learn that. complications notwithstanding, that's exactly what happens. A reasonably well-crafted yarn, despite a certain amount of pretentious ballyhoo, but it lacks ideas, the dazzle and grip of top-quality cybersaga. Insipid, then, and rather anonymous.