Collected here are five fantastic stories by Algis Budrys, Frank Herbert, Robert Sheckley, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Jamie Wild. 1) The Stoker and the Stars: When you've had your ears pinned back in a bowknot, it's sometimes hard to remember that an intelligent people has no respect for a whipped enemy ... but does for a fairly beaten enemy. 2) Missing Link: The Romantics used to say that the eyes were the windows of the Soul. A good Alien Xenologist might not put it quite so poetically ... but he can, if he's sharp, read a lot in the look of an eye! 3) Bad Medicine: Elwood Caswell walked rapidly down Broadway with a loaded revolver hidden in his coat pocket. He didn't want to use the weapon, but feared he might anyhow. This was a justifiable assumption, for Caswell was a homicidal maniac. 4) BR02B: Got a problem? Just pick up the phone. It solved them all-and all the same way! 5) The Cyber Way: Shea broke the interface with the computer and looked up at his two employers. "You're all set. Now, about my fee." "Yes, about your fee . . . " They were going to stiff him, Shea could see it in their eyes. He took a step forward; if things got nasty he needed to be close enough for his enhanced nervous system's speed to be a factor.