OK, this is a pretty obvious anthology. It has LOTS of awards winners, lots of famos stories by famos names, etc, etc, etc.
But it's a really great anthology, one that you can't miss.
As for Orson Scott Card's introductions, they're nice, not all too informative, and well written (of course). The degree to which you'll enjoy them depends on how much you're willing to tolerate Card's well intentioned conservatism.
But it's the stories, not those who tell them. Other than Lewis Shiner's story, I liked all of them, but I'm gonna talk about the ones that made the most impression on me: Isaac Asimov's Robot Dreams, John Varley's Press Enter, Walter Jon William's Dinosaurs, and George R. R. Martin's Portraits of His Children.
I could probably write an essey that would be longer than the story about Asimov's Robot Dream. It is a dlightful return of Susan Calvin, one I wasn't aware of. It also continues the theme Asimov has had in his last decades, of the thinning difference between the human and the Robot. It isn't as full as 'That Thou Art Mindful of Him' or 'The Bicential Man', and Susan Calvin lacks her passion for Robots, but it is fascinating anyway.
I've read John Varley's story about 5 years ago, and I thought it was one of the best short fiction pieces I've ever read. It is every bit as good in the second reading. Varley writes a tale that is even more chilling today, in the days of internet, than it was in the 80s. He proves he understands History, Computers, Medicin - but most importantly, character.
Walter Jon William's Dinosaurs was an incredible surprise. I've read some of Williams's Wild Cards stories, and I've liked them well enough, but Dinosaurs is one a whole new class. It is a story as powerful as any SF short fiction, a real classic of the field, imaginative and page turning. Williams has immidiately become and author to watch out for.
And than we come to George R. R. Martin. I've left his story for the last, and so I'll also talk about it at the end. Martin is my favorite living author (Asimov is probably my favorite all time author, though it's a close call), but every time I get to read one of his stories, I think " It can't probably be THAT good", and yet, it allways is.
Portraits of His Children isn't a Science Fiction story - it is a Dark Fantasy/Horror story, but it is no less powerful for that. It is clever, unique, and most of all, touching. It has won its Nebula deservedly.
Those were my favorites, but they don't have to be yours. Greg Bear wrote a kick ess story about micro-aliens. Octavia Butler wrote a Hugo award winning tale about a post-apocaliptical world that is a place familiar in tone to all Butler fans, myself included. C.J Cherry(sp?) wrote POTS, a unique Space Opera tale that was the first of her works I've read, but surely not the last. And Orson Scott Card finishes the book with a story about the future of Civilazation - where the world might be different, but people aren't.
This is a unique anthology. I read all of it in record tim, and enjoyed it tremendously. It truly has some of the best SF stories out there - Viva the Eighties.