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I have been steaming through my large collection of unread sf anthologies this year, but often finding it difficult to say much about them. I'm reviewing here primarily for myself, and since most of the anthologies concerned are long past their sales peak I can't imagine that it makes much difference to anyone else. Most of these collections are of generally decent to excellent stories, and I do feel a slight twinge of conscience if the only ones I single out are for negative reasons. But only a slight twinge.

Anyway, this is another good collection of decent to excellent stories from 1988, of which the only one I will single out is "Confluence Revisited" by Brian Aldiss, a sequel to his 1967 alien dictionary piece "Confluence", which was originally published in Punch and collected in The Moment of Eclipse, A Tupolev Too Far and Man In His Time, not to mention the Puffin Book of Science Fiction. The sequel, written twenty years on (and also in A Tupolev Too Far, though I had forgotten), is more reflective but still drily witty - for instance, it is explained that the Myrinian word JA can be translated as "A type of depraved underground mammal; mathematics; one's appearance on certain mornings". We've all had those, though fewer of us will have need of WAN, "A type of tortoise used in races".

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