As established here and reinforced by the second volume, all five books in this series are essential to anyone interested in Smith's work and literate fantasy as a whole. Connors and Hilger have followed earlier textual studies by Donald Sidney-Fryer, Steve Behrends, and others with extensive studies of their own to restore as much of the glory to Smith's texts as is currently possible - and what glory! Smith is one of the few fantasists capable not only of creating multiple fantasy cultures, but with investing each of those worlds with its own distinct atmosphere, tone, and use of language. Many earlier versions of these texts toned down the richness, eroticism, and grotesquerie of these stories in order to appeal to what Smith's editors deemed was acceptable to the lowest-common-denominator among its readership. Scores of deletions, simplifications, bowdlerizations, and other alterations which have served to remove the sheen from these works have here been corrected through painstaking attention to all available manuscripts and correpondence. Here, at long last, is Smith in all his mordant, coruscating splendor. If one considers all of this, along with intelligent introductory material; alternate endings; unpedantic notes to each story detailing its composition, publication history, and its place within the larger context of Smith's work; as well as Jason Van Hollander's inspired integration of Smith and his sculptures into the macabre and affectionate cover art; Night Shade and these editors have presented to all lovers of fantasy an edition of the master's prose fiction which will serve as the benchmark for many years to come.