Scrutinizing 1984: another of those fiction/non-fiction combinations that seem peculiar to sf. In the non-fiction, Algis Budrys' look at 1984's novels just about works as an overview, but it's also an illustration of sf's reluctance to critically analyze itself. Leading novelist and physics professor Gregory Benford examines the field of ""hard"" (i.e., science-oriented, scientifically accurate) sf--what it is, what it does, who reads it, and who writes it--in masterful fashion; unfortunately, he backs it up with a rather feeble intelligent-computer yarn. James Gunn waffles uninformatively on the teaching of sf. And Mike Glyer presents a roundup of 1984's fan activities. In the rest of the fiction, Robert Silverberg has some intriguing thoughts on human-alien sex; and David Brin's tale explains why we haven't yet been invaded, colonized, or contacted by aliens. Plus: futuristic corporate dirty tricks; a brain-wiped ex-criminal rediscovering his former self--a ruthless hit man; an alien society of egotistical, individualistic predators learning the value of cooperative endeavor; more super-computers; Latin oratory; a post-nuclear-war yam about intelligent dogs; and psychic photographs. A rather glum assortment, then, about average in quality--but the nonfiction provides welcome contrast, and the fiction--with one exception--offers a different selection than the other 1984 ""best-of' books.