A happy piece of serendipity last night. Cruising Doug Miller Books, that cavern of double-ranked books on all shelves and cartons of stacked unopenable boxes with their indubitable treasures, in the second rank and fortunately at eye level I discover Lambda 1 and Other Stories. Lambda 1 is the title I've been trying to remember for at least forty years. To me it was the quintessence of science fiction, even more than Bradbury (whom I read for style and setting) or Asimov (whom I read for sensastrange). Of course, it's still a story about the interior of the human heart, which may be why I liked it.
Didn't buy, even for three dollars. Suck fairies and all: I'm no longer fourteen. Bought The Difference Engine instead.