on May 8, 2000
This is a collection of science fiction shorts from Harry Harrison, the creator of The Stainless Steel Rat and Bill The Galactic Hero; 13 of what he considers to be his best. (The rear cover blurb claims 14, but either they can't count, or I can't.)
These are the kind of science fiction short stories that got me interested in the genre, over twenty years ago when I was a kid. Some of them have aged better than others; I find myself shaking my head at some of the stock plots and characters. And some of the ideas that are addressed seem a bit dated, 25 years later. But all of them DO address ideas, ideas that were fascinating to a 14 year old 25 years ago, and would probably be fascinating to one today. Some of them, of course, are fascinating to a 41 year old today.
If you're a fan of old-fashioned science fiction, you'll love this book. If you're not, but are curious about what kind of stories cause those who are to be so, this book is for you. And if you're an inquisitive youngster who HASN'T read a lot of science fiction, this book is perfect for you. But if you've read a lot of classic science fiction, and have gotten a bit jaded, you may find this book a bit too reminiscent of an old copy of Analog magazine.