Britain's most versatile and durable and consistently most interesting science-fiction writer presents his own personal ""best of"": 22 splendid tales, 1955-86 (and a companion ""best fantasy"" is promised). To Aldiss, the human dimension has always been more important than hardware or fireworks--which is why his best stories have a timeless quality weaving intelligence, emotion, and inventiveness. To note some of the more famous tales here: ""The Failed Men"" concerns far-future human descendants whose demoralization proves contagious; the best robot short-story ever written, ""Who Can Replace a Man'?""; the magnificent H.G. Wells pastiche of alien invaders, ""The Saliva Tree""; the brilliant title piece, a casually terrifying story about the wife of a space traveller who, returning to Earth from Mars, finds himself marooned 3.3077 minutes in the future; ""Heresies of the Huge God,"" a damning satire involving a colossal piece of space garbage; and, of more recent origin, the chilling ""Infestation"" (maggot-like aliens tunnelling through hyperspace, taking over human bodies), and a fine Martian odyssey, ""The Difficulties Involved in Photographing Nix Olympica."" While inarguably the grandmaster of British sf, Aldiss is oddly underrated here; perhaps this sparkling retrospective will gain him the attention he richly deserves.