The 16 stories in this retrospective volume from World Fantasy Award-winner Waldrop tend to be more sober and less zany than those in his previous collection, Heart of Whitenesse (2005). Highlights include "The Lions Are Asleep This Night," a touching alternate history of a would-be playwright set in Africa; "French Scenes," in which Francophiles make movies using computers; and "Household Words or the Powers That Be," a tale Dickens fans are sure to love. Less successful are the obvious "Heirs of the Perisphere," with its Disneyesque characters, and the dated "Flying Saucer Rock and Roll," which was probably more funny when it was first published in 1985. Blurbs from Lucius Shepard, George R.R. Martin, Cory Doctorow and Connie Willis should give a boost. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.