14 stories from 1928,57,58,59,62,63,75,78. Nine are from the Instrumentality Of Mankind series. In the beginning of the book is a timeline for the series. Favorites:
“No,No,Not Rogov!” (1959) – Stalin puts scientist Rogov, his wife and two others in a hidden village. Rogov develops a device that can pick up thoughts from anywhere in the world. After Stalin dies the project continues. Rogov decides it’s time to see if he can receive. That involve sticking a needle into his brain.
“Mark Elf” (1957) – In April 1945 a girl is placed in a rocket by her father in order to escape the Nazis and the Red Army. She lands back on Earth sixteen thousand years later and meets a war machine from the Sixth Reich in the distant past.
“The Queen Of The Afternoon” (1978 novelette) – Three sisters are placed in rockets at the end of World War Two in Germany and shot off into space. Thousands of years pass. One, Juli, awakens on an Earth where animals communicate telepathically with humans. One of her sisters is a queen and is taking part in a revolution. Her dog friends are her allies. This story relates the founding of the Instrumentality Of mankind.
“When The People Fell” (1959) – A four hundred year old man tells how Venus was conquered when it rained eighty-two million people.
“From Gustible’s Planet” (1962) – Aliens that call themselves Apicians look like large ducks. A large group comes to Earth complete with big appetites. Smith’s sense of humor is on full display here.
“Western Science Is So Wonderful” (1958) – Another humorous story. This one involves a shape changing Martian in China. He changes into everything from a huge fir tree to Mao Tse-tung. Communist soldiers are very confused.