The period that SF devotees call golden began in 1938 when John Campbell took over as editor of Astounding and technological precision became a feature of the field. But the pre-Campbell '30's are proven far from arid in this massive collection of tales that delighted the young Asimov behind the counter of the family candy store. Here are several species of apocalypse, including the planets as eggs that crack open to hatch strange creatures, as well as men who shrink until they find themselves inhabiting a subatomic universe or who expand until they break through into larger worlds than this one. Plus Martians who make people into pets and carnivorous plants that make them into mincemeat, as well as one of SF's first benevolent aliens and various other figments and fantasies. Asimov's autobiographical introductory notes communicate a pleasure in these extravagant tales that only the most churlish fan could wholly fail to share.