Despite the presence of Gene Wolfe and George Alec Effinger, there's nothing terribly new and daring in these six stories. R.A. Lafferty's probe into the real source of mass fads is about as far out as anything here. Everything else is pretty restrained and even conventional, but beautifully carried off. With double-edged irony, Robert Chilson's ""People Reviews"" explores the logical implications of that noble cliche ""life as art."" Brian Aldiss quietly opens up two bitterly opposed perspectives on the post-technological Good Life. And Carter Schultz shows us a world of mental time-travel for purposes of scholarly research, where publish-or-perish mania is busily (if unconsciously) dismantling the oeuvre of Ludwig van Beethoven. One of Carr's best Universes.