In the novelette "Mud," Laza, a girl in an established colony on a fringe planet, pays attention to the call of the mud out her back door, with strange results. In "Discards," scavenging children on a junk-yard planet find strange things in medical waste. In "Egg Shells," Fern tries on a new shape every so often in search of the permanent shape she'll choose at sixteen. In "Gateway Night," Fassi, a nurse at a hospital on a multi-species space station, has a weird encounter on the only holiday the Four Known Races share.