Ian Watson's latest collection shows the same range and apparently inexhaustible fund of ideas that have characterized all his previous books. No other contemporary figure in SF is so prolific or inventive a writer of short stories. In the title story we immediately encounter a phantasmagoric vision of a society increasingly dependent on recycling its usable material; other brilliant inventions include a planet inhabited by lemur-like aliens who bafflingly produce marvellously finished stone carvings without apparently having the tools to do so ('The Moon and Michelangelo'); people fighting their way through the various levels of what appears to be a real-life version of a computer adventure game ('Jewels in an Angel's Wing'); and a zoo in which are caged the extensions into our universe of four-dimensional hyberbeings ('Hyperzoo'). And that is only the beginning: there are fifteen stories in all, each one a state-of-the-art example of short science fiction at its finest.
Ian Watson was born in 1943. He lectured in Tanzania and Tokyo and taught Future Studies at Birmingham Polytechnic. He began publishing SF with 'Roof Garden Under Saturn' for New Worlds in 1969 but it was with the publication of The Embedding in 1973 that he really established himself as a writer of rare power and vision. Michael Bishop was born in 1945 and studied English at the University of George. His other acclaimed novels include A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire, Transfigurations, Stolen Faces and Ancient of Days.