Eighteen science-fiction stories, most of them bound to seem curiously tame to American readers. A reconnaissance mission comes to a planet of inexplicably blinded creatures. A young man takes the qualifying exam for parenthood. A doctor ponders the implications of an infallible, computer-administered vocational aptitude test. A technical crew debates whether to carry out a crucial mission that will destroy an unimaginably lovely planet. In a lighter vein, an inventive SOB outwits the infernal soul-collecting bureaucracy with a little judicious thought to administrative procedure; the fabric of society is rent by the invention of a banking system for time-deposits and withdrawals. Bilenkin's ideas are mostly serviceable enough, but tossed off with little attempt at original development. Bland, competent, only occasionally striking.