Fifty years after his first professional sale, Isaac Asimov is still writing, prolifically, and turning out high-quality work. In commemoration, Greenberg has brought together one story from each of those 50 years, beginning with that very first sale, "Marooned off Vesta," an impressively well-told tale for an 18-year-old novice, concerning a rocketship crew in danger of languishing in space for lack of fuel, and how they solve their problem. Also here are "Nightfall," voted one of the best SF stories of all time by members of the SF Writers of America, published less than three years after the first story, and demonstrating Asimov's tremendous growth in that time. It concerns a civilization on a planet in a multiple star system that experiences darkness only once every several millenia, to disastrous effect. "The Red Queen's Race" is a provocative time-travel story that resolves the contradictions inherent to the form; and "The Ugly Little Boy" is an almost unbearably touching tale of a Neanderthal child brought into the modern world.
Forced to play the pauper in an England racked by war, American Eleanor Wallace vowed to help her country any way she could. Yet the intrigue was becoming difficult, for she had somehow lost her heart to the formidable Duke of Ryland, a man who would never forgive her for what she had done.
V.I. is hired to find out who may be sneaking into a vacated suburban mansion. Geraldine Graham, the home's 91-year-old former owner, who still lives nearby, claims she's seen lights in the attic at night. Our heroine suspects this is simply a bid by the wealthy dowager for greater attention, but agrees to do some nocturnal prowling--only to stumble (literally) across the body of a dead black journalist, Marcus Whitby, in the estates ornamental pond and encounter a teenage girl fleeing the scene.