The Science Fiction Bestiary edited by Robert Silverberg
This probably ranks as my favorite SF anthology, featuring nine Golden Age stories about fantastic alien creatures. It’s also my most travel-worn book, the one I throw into a bag for an unexpected trip, just as likely to be under the driver’s seat in my car as it is in my library.
No wonder, since it boasts a roster of funny and amazing stories by legendary SF authors, among them: “The Hurkle is a Happy Beast” by Theodore Sturgeon; “The Preserving Machine” by Philip K. Dick; “Drop Dead,” by Clifford D. Simak; and “A Martian Odyssey” by Stanley G. Weinbaum—widely considered to be the best Science Fiction story of all time, in a dead heat with “Nightfall” by Isaac Asimov. I like “Odyssey” better (go Tweel!).
I once found an almost pristine copy of Bestiary on a free books table at a Sci-Fi convention and for some unfathomable reason decided I’d grab it later in the day. Of course it was gone when I got back. So if you’re the person who snaked it out from under me, I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I do.