It was a crime to let this book go out of print! Fortunately, one of my friends, also an OSC fan, lent his copy to me "for a short while." Because I am an honest person, I returned it. Eventually. And only after seriously considering changing my name and moving to Alaska, all to avoid losing these stories.
The book is divided into sections, each with a unifying theme: horror, classic science fiction, fantasy, parables, religion & ethics, and a mix of miscellaneous works. "The Changed Man," "Flux," "Maps in a Mirror," "Monkey Sonatas," and "Cruel Miracles" were also published as individual paperbacks, but "Lost Songs," which contains, among other things, the original short version of "Ender's Game," is only available in the comprehensive hardcover edition.
Every facet of OSC's brilliance is displayed in this collection. His longer works, while also brilliant, have an unfortunate tendency to lag at points, but in short form he shines. Though not all the stories are of equal quality (hey, everyone has bad days), none are bad, and many are things of beauty and power. My personal favorites include "A Thousand Deaths," "Freeway Games," "Saving Grace," "Kingsmeat," "The Porcelain Salamander," "The Best Day," "I Think Mom and Dad Are Going Crazy, Jerry," and, of course, "Unaccompanied Sonata."
Be aware: some of these stories contain graphic and disturbing images. They also contain disturbing ideas. But no one writes speculative literature better than OSC at his best, and this book has a lot of his best.