Although best known for his novels, Mark Twain was a prolific writer of short stories, many of which involved elements of science fiction—and this compilation highlights his finest works of speculative fiction. Twain applies his wit and imagination to the spinning of tales about mental telepathy, instantaneous communication, alternative histories, and utopian worlds. The collection begins with Twain's first science fiction story, an 1862 piece entitled "Petrified Man." The satirical newspaper item was interpreted literally by many readers and became an accidental hoax. Other selections include "Earthquake Almanac," "From the 'London Times' of 1904," "The Loves of Alonzo Fitz Clarence and Rosannah Ethelton," "Mental Telegraphy," "Mental Telegraphy, Again," "Extracts from Adam's Diary," "Eve's Diary," "The Great Dark," and "Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven," concluding with "The Mysterious Stranger."