Twenty sf stories from the Soviet Union--some brilliant, all solid, and all with the focus on people rather than things or ideas. The title piece (the arrival of spring on a perpetually frozen world) is one of two fine, touching fables from Victor Kolupaev. Sever Gansovsky contributes two gems--one about a civilian weapons expert who revenges himself upon the military, the other about intelligent nonhuman creatures escaping from the lab where they were created. Dmitri Bilenkin offers a convincing piece on ""swimming"" in the sand-seas of Mars. And there's an eerie, visionary alien-contact yarn from Genrikh Altov; comic work from Alexander Gorboysky, Anatoly Dneprov (computer-simulated economics), and Gennady Gor (the return of Edgar Allan Poe); Kirill Bulychev's powerful story on humans ""bio-formed"" to survive in hostile alien environments. Plus--a real weirdo from Marietta Chudakova about a man who moves freely in time (and is thus immortal) but is limited in space to one small section of a single town. Even where the themes are familiar (robots, time travel, aliens, alternate worlds), there are always intriguing differences from English-language sf in style, treatment and approach--and valuable insights into how Soviet writers view themselves and the West. With editor Gakov's neat introductions: a marvelous collection.