Dark tales of speculative fiction from a winner of dozens of awards- one of the great living American short story writers (The Washington Post). It crouches near the center of creation. There is no night where it waits. Only the riddle of which terrible dream will set it loose. It beheaded mercy to take possession of that place. It feasts on darkness from the minds of men. No one has ever seen its eyeless face. When it sleeps we know a few moments of peace. But when it breathes again we go down in fire and mate with jackals. It knows our fear. It has our number. It waited for our coming and it will abide long after we have become congealed smoke. It has never heard music, and shows its fangs when we panic. It is the beast of our savage past, hungering today, and waiting patiently for the mortal meal of all our golden tomorrows. It lies waiting. This fantastic short story collection features two of Ellison's most famous, the Nebula Award winner A Boy and His Dog and the Hugo Award-winning short story that lends the collection its title. These and the entire book will knock you off your feet.