Two long stories and four short, from the author of Fevre Dream and Windhaven (with Lisa Turtle). In the well-known title piece, some investigators pursuing the mysterious alien space-traveller "volcryn" hire a spaceship that is haunted by the computerized, telekinetic, and insanely jealous ghost of its captain's mother--an intriguing development that soon degenerates into standard murderous-spaceship notions complete with gratuitous gore. The other long tale is the famous "A Song for Lya, " in which telepath Lya is ensnared by the prospect of ultimate mental intimacy in the ecstatic death-rites of an alien race; the aliens, and Lya, are absorbed by a gigantic jello-parasite wherein individuals become full participants in a god-like group mind. Elsewhere, a yarn about animated corpses has some shock value but little else. Another tale looks at weekend soldiering with live bullets as a substitute for real war. And some innocent, intelligent aliens confront rapacious, religion-besotted, evil human invaders. Unusual treatments of familiar ideas, then, with generous dollops of nastiness but not much genuine horror--and little that's truly stimulating.