According to the whining introductions here, Anthony gave up short story-writing in disgust circa 1971, having failed to sell several of his efforts. This collection, then, brings together 21 stories, including unpublished work, from his 1963-71 career; and they're mostly a ragged, feeble bunch, in stark contrast to the fast-moving, lightly comic fantasy novels that have brought Anthony to his present peak of popularity. There are exceptions: a chillingly provocative tale depicting humans as cattle; a couple of the splendid "interstellar dentist" yarns that eventually became the novel Prostho Plus; an enjoyable, high-speed trip through a tachyon universe; plus an interstellar log-splitting contest and an agreeable fog monster yarn. The majority of the pieces, however, are dispensable treatments of such subjects as mythic creatures, ghosts and aliens, weird sex and torture, and futuristic products. Far too weak overall for broad appeal, then, although Anthony's myriad fans will want to browse.