Australian editor Harding commissioned these twelve stories on the flexible theme of ""the impact of the future on the individual""--and, though that invitation has led Brian Aldiss, Ian Watson, and Philippa C. Maddern to indulge their most metaphysical tendencies, it has elicited a variety of shrewd items. Michael Bishop's exploration of ""how does it feel to be two men with one body"" is the jazzy standout, though R. A. Lafferty's swift reworking of music/flying motifs is especially ingratiating. And if Cherry Wilder's bucolic alien culture is a little over-coy and effortful with its alternate vocabulary and its self-conscious presentation, George Turner's techno-world emerges through good solid action. Plus--a spot of Australian dialect, a simpleminded but effective exercise in self-ingestion horror from Japan, and whimsical twists with Dickens and Wellsian time-travel by Gene Wolfe and David Lake. The proposed theme isn't really stuck to seriously, and overall it's hardly the super-anthology proclaimed in Roger Zelazny's jumpy, gushy foreword--but certainly a provocative, stylishly international grouping for the more literarily, conceptually inclined science-fiction reader.