Malzberg, a much-admired ringer of new changes on old sf premises, rounds up some 20 of his several billion short stories. His approach features a lot of narrative experimentation and much smug self-consciousness in the presentation of Great Issues. Yet at his rather frequent best Malzberg carries off his instant profundities with shapeliness and verve. Some of the small gems among the ostentatious rhinestones: a murderous planetary-reconnaissance mission using children; the paranoid fantasies of a political assassin; an increasingly demented report from the stranded discoverer of a half-experienced, haft-hallucinated planet; the new modalities of wax and brainwashing in a future Sunnybrook Farm society. The selections work very well together, and might have worked even better without the self-serving autobiographical introductions and afterwords.