ISAAC ASIMOV • A.E. VAN VOGT • ERIC FRANK RUSSELL • BOB SHAW • MARK CLIFTON • PHILIP K. DICK • WALTER M. MILLER, JR. • OWEN OLIVER • FRED SABERHAGEN • LESTER DEL REY • HENRY KUTTNER • AVRAM DAVIDSON • PIERS ANTHONY • PHILIP E. HIGH • WILLIAM TENN
Ever since people have been able to imagine the concept of space travel, they have also wondered about alien races traveling to our own Earth. Would they prove all-powerful invaders out to divide—or destroy—and conquer? Or would they be traders, diplomats, altruists, ready to help us escape the confines of our own planet to take our place in the galactic community? These questions are answered in fifteen memorable tales by science fiction’s finest.
This anthology includes Asimov’s “Living Space,” which is a pleasant little tale that doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. The remainder of the stories tend to be divided between stories that I really, really like and stories that I really don’t. Among the former are A.E. van Vogt’s “Asylum,” Eric Frank Russell’s “Exposure,” and William Tenn’s immortal “The Liberation of Earth.” On the whole, it’s the good stories that tip the balance for me, enough to give this anthology a distinct if marginal vote of approval.