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Synopsis

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.

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