The first anthology of Japanese sf stories to appear in English translation--""sf"" used very loosely to embrace fantasy, surrealism, and horror: 13 tales, 1963-89, offering fascinating cross-cultural sidelights and echoes of themes and treatments by more familiar writers, the best ranking with the finest stories anywhere. The standouts: Tetsu Yano's ""The Legend of the Paper Spaceship,"" the most wrenching, compelling and poignant alien-castaway yam you'll ever read; and ""The Savage Mouth,"" Sakyo Komatsu's brutal and utterly horrifying tale of a man who literally consumes himself. Also impressive: Kobo Abe describes humanity dissolving into sentiment slime (cf. Greg Bear); an implacable, perhaps malign antique wooden chest (Ryo Hanmura); Shinichi Hoshi's superb wormhole-through-space yarn placed in a mundane setting (cf. the Strugatsky brothers); a time-travel swindle with a twist ending (Sakyo Komatsu); Taku Mayumura's surreal time-worm embracing its own wormhole in time (cf. Brian Aldiss); and Yasutaka Tsutsui's hair-raising world where social misfits and dissidents are forcibly planted and turned into trees (cf. Jack Vance). Often deceptively stark, yet with a satisfying range that reveals unexpected depths and perspectives: browse-worthy for anyone curious about non-English-language sf--and a rare treat for connoisseurs.