Laumer really comes into his own in this collection, a far cry from the competent if minimal Relief (Galactic Diplomat etc.) entertainments. The three deserving special mention are The Walls where a woman does not learn to live with wall to wall television and experiences the ultimate in psychedelic disorientation; Doorstep in which man meets alien and leaps to an unfortunate conclusion (you need a shock absorber for the ending); and Cocoon where ""Vital Programming"" has carried the human race back to the womb. Some flashy satire and good straight adventure make up the rest. A fine nine.