I ordinarily do not comment on anthology introductions, but Shippey does an excellent job positioning sf in literature, culture, and society. There is no hyperbole, nor is there a condescending view—something quite easy given the baby steps sf once needed taking. He also offers a few nice tidbits for thought, something that this jaded sf reader still found interesting after a decade+ of ingesting innumerable such tidbits. (For example, Shippey avers that short fiction is the most natural form of science fiction.) And perhaps most importantly, he goes about positioning each of the stories—indirectly explaining why each was selected for the anthology.