If they have to be classified these unforgettable stories should, we suppose, be classified as science fiction. But in fact they are for all connoisseurs of the curious; for all who appreciate a stylish approach to the odd. There’s ‘Psyclops’, for example, about a man’s conversation with his unborn son; the lighthearted ‘Pogsmith’ – who was both a world and a super-beast. There’s the tender tale of a small girl dancing joyously into a curious kind of extinction; a glimpse of Frankenstein’s monster army disrupting the peace of a Cambridge evening – and of more than one strange creature flattening its nose against the window of civilization.
A fourteen story collection, compiled at a time when BWA had had only thirteen stories published. The stories form a romp across many of the then standard themes of SF; the marked stylishness and frequent elegiac notes (as, for instance, in ‘The Failed Men’) serve as a warning of more ambitious volumes ahead.
FIRST EDITION: Faber & Faber, 1957