I am not a big fan of science fiction or fantasy anthologies as there is always more stories that I either dislike or am apathetic about than ones I actually like. I suppose it is odd that I have so many of these lying around the house on shelves, under the bed, in boxes stuffed here and there. I have been buying them for years. I suppose I am sort of an eternal optimist and figure I will hit the mother load of all short story collections one of these days....hey, it could happen!
Anyway, this one dates back to the year 1981 and it just so happens that I do know why I bought this one! This was the first copy, in book form, of a now classic Stephen King short story entitled "The Crate." It is the first story featured in this collection and it caught my eye in the book store. (I have different reasons and different rationale for the dozens of others I have). They actually made a film of this story which was pretty good and I can remember when I first read the story, it actually gave me the creeps.
This collection contains thirteen stories that pretty well run the gambit in this particular genre. I must confess that over the next year after purchasing this work, I did read the other stories and was impressed. I occasionally pick this one up and reread one or two stories a setting.
In addition to the thirteen stories we have a very nice introduction my Terry Carr and a nice closing by Terry Garr as to recommend reading. The authors featured in this anthology are: Stephen King, Michael Bishop, Russell Kirk, John Brunner, Harlan Ellison, Walter Tevis, Fritz Leiber (Sorry folks, No Gray Mouser in this one), Joanna Russ, Orson Scott Card, Greg Bear, Manly Wade Wellman, Kevin McKay and Suzy McKee Charnas.
I have to tell you that there really is no clunker amongst these stories; all are well written and depending upon your particular taste, well worth the read.
I rather enjoyed (still do) the introduction to this work as Terry Garr, as editor, explains the differences between science fiction and fantasy as far as genre go. This was interesting, whether you agree with it or not.