In the conclusion to his acknowledgments Bruce Bennett speaks of his debt to tlte writers of short fiction who have given him 'such pleasure' and have stimulated him to construct the text. The author's joy in his subject matter is manifest throughout, making this a book for a range of readers, not only within the academy, but in a much wider context. I was recently asked at a conference whether I could give a quick definition of a short story, and I was more tltan glad to be able to say that the best idea would be to read Bruce Bennett's book. For this is not only a history of the form in this country, but by implication also a rich exploration of the range and possibilities of the short story throughout the world. That it is specific to the local scene makes it, as far as I am concerned, a really valuable resource.