I picked this up for a song at a garage sale: I'm always in the market for SF and fantasy, be it good or bad. These writings were new when they came out in 1977 (which means they will be pretty dated now!), but since none of the writers have grown into giants of the field since, these stories were unfamiliar and new to me.
As can be expected with any book of this sort, the stories are a pretty motley collection, from the downright bad to the excellent. So here is the report:Rice Brandy
by Michael Stall - Alternative history: mildly interesting, but nothing to write home about.The Cat and the Coin
by Keith Wells - Fantasy humour: did not work for me at all.Talent Spotter
by Sydney J. Bounds - Soft SF/ Fantasy: again, mildly interesting.The Debris Of Recent Lives
by Charles Partington - SF: I did not understand this one. It's all modernistic and noir.The Black Hole of Negrav
by Colin Kapp - This is an excellent hard SF story, about the "unconventional engineers". Colin Kapp has written a number of stories this group coming up with innovative solutions for unforeseen problems which crop up as mankind pushes their boundaries out into space. Being an engineer myself, I can appreciate!A Little More Than Twelve Minutes
by Wolfgang Jeschke - A moderately interesting time travel story, translated from the original German.The Enemy Within
by Donald Malcolm - Hard SF story about infection by extraterrestrial virus, on the lines of Who Goes There?
by Campbell. Interesting premise, well executed.The Halted Village
by John Rackham - SF story with a rather weird premise. Even though the execution left a lot to be desired, enjoyable for its freshness.The Green Fuse
by Martin I. Ricketts - This was the best of the collection (at least for me), about mankind's encounter with a totally alien biology and the frightening impact of human meddling. It is so eerily similar to Speaker for the Dead
by Orson Scott Card that I feel it highly likely that he was inspired by it. If you have not read Card's award-winning novel, read it before you read this story!