The stories in this volume were written between July of 1990 and March of 1995--the second half of the fifth decade of my career as a science-fiction writer. I don't think I could have imagined, when I began that career in the early 1950s, that science-fiction publishing would evolve the way it did over the next forty years.
Here, then, is the cream of the Silverberg output, 1990-95. I suppose I wrote more short stories in the first six months of 1957 than in that entire six-year period; but so be it. It's a different world today. I look back nostalgically on the small-town atmosphere of the era in which I began my career, and there are times when I'd be glad to 'call back yesterday, bid time return.' As Shakespeare pointed out, though, that can't be done. The one recourse is the one I have chosen, which is to soldier staunchly onward through the years, come what may, writing a story or two here and a book there, while the world changes out of all recognition around me. And so--to leap neatly from the Bard of Avon to F. Scott Fitzgerald--'so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.'
--Robert Silverberg, from his Introduction