Muse of Fire - Dan Simmons In an indeterminate future humans are the slaves ("doles" and "arbeiters") of a hierarchy of aliens - archons, poimen, demiurgos and Abraxas - and the Earth's Men tour the galaxy performing Shakespeare. Beyond a nice, well written novella that incorporates the Bard's work (primarily "King Lear," "Hamlet" and "Romeo and Juliet") and celebrates his genius, it also says that Shakespeare is just the beginning of exploring what it means to be human. As the ship's AI (the Muse) says at the end, "You people need to learn some new poets."

There was a deus ex machina at the end that prevents this gem from rising to the fourth star but, in the main, I enjoyed it and recommend it (esp. to Dan Simmons fans who may be exhausted by door stops like Drood but still need their fix).