18 short stories were born out of a discussion on themed collections with the Canadian writer Claude Lalumiere. They are diverse in every way except that each one of them has a metal element at its heart. ‘The Maskmaker‘ was the first to be written, a story set in an early Venice and has gold as its theme. There then follows tales of robots made of lead, cyborgs who are addicted to drinking mercury, aliens obsessed with shiny chromium, a nickel coin worth a king’s ransom and many others. The tales end with a false element, Erifium, the metal from which the sword of Saint Michael is fashioned. One he wields against demons in the battle of Armageddon.