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I'm fairly sure the book has Science Fiction in the title. It also contains Who Can Replace a Man? by Brian W. Aldiss. I think that was either the first, or one of the first few stories in the book. I can't be sure that it's from the 70s, but that rings a bell.

One of the stories near the end has someone investigating a hit and run in a small town. The reveal is that the car either is a sea creature who has copied the appearance of a car or contains a sea creature. It dies from the difference in pressure up here on land, which is unlike the depths it is used to.

I believe there is also a story where a man(?) and an alien are playing a complicated, chess-like game. The alien is saying that humans(?) will die out soon and then years later the man(?) wins the "game" because through politics and diplomacy he's had the humans(?) intermingle with the alien species so they will live on that way.

There's also a story about a criminal who survived a hard-labour camp, I believe, on another world. Usually no one returns, but if you survive then you're allowed to come home after a certain amount of time and kill one person with no consequences. He's happy to be back until all the people he used to love and trust one by one contact him and beg not to be killed. In the process they reveal that they screwed him over in the past, which he never knew. I think his wife cheated on him, and his business partner stole from him? I believe he dies in the end?

I can remember a few more, extremely vaguely.

  • A astronaut is walking, either alone or following behind his crew, on the surface of some planet and something is following him. I think the story is open-ended, so we don't know if he survives or not.
  • There's a detective story, something to do with time? I believe there's a victim or a clue at the bottom of some cliffs.
  • There's a group of men sitting around a fire after the apocalypse, there's a musical instrument. They haven't heard music in a long time and it brings them together. The story is about them connecting and getting along and then suddenly the mood turns and someone tries to steal the instrument. I believe it's about them being hypocritical or refusing to trust.
  • There's also a murder in a time-locked room; they can't figure out who someone could have entered the space without triggering an alarm, or unfreezing time, or something.

That's all I've got, wish I had more. I can't be sure all of these stories are in this anthology because I read a lot of science fiction at the time - still do - but definitely (most likely) the robots, the car sea creature, the time-locked murder, and the astronaut one. I read it a long time ago and very few books have ever made me feel like this one did. I hope you can help!

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    The story about a criminal is Time in Advance by William Tenn. I cannot find an anthology that included both Who Can Replace a Man and Time in Advance. May 8 at 13:00
  • The astronaut walking is Clarke's A Walk in the Dark. May 8 at 15:34
  • I can't find an anthology with Time in Advance and A Walk in the Dark in either. May 8 at 15:52
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I'll posit an answer. It does not match completely, but I have tentatively identified 5 of the stories in one collection.

The five stories -

  • There's also a story about a criminal who survived a hard-labour camp, I believe, on another world.

  • As mentioned by John Rennie this is Tenn's Time in Advance

  • There's a detective story, something to do with time? I believe there's a victim or a clue at the bottom of some cliffs.

  • This is Garrett's The Ipswich Phial

  • There's also a murder in a time-locked room; they can't figure out who someone could have entered the space without triggering an alarm, or unfreezing time, or something.

  • Weakest of the IDs, but I think this is Niven's ARM.

  • One of the stories near the end has someone investigating a hit and run in a small town. The reveal is that the car either is a sea creature who has copied the appearance of a car or contains a sea creature.

  • Temple's The Green Car

  • I believe there is also a story where a man(?) and an alien are playing a complicated, chess-like game.

  • De Vet and MacLean, Second Game

The collection The 13 Crimes of Science Fiction contains all 5 of these, and has "science fiction" in the title.

Doesn't have

  • For Who Can Replace a Man
  • A Walk in the Dark
  • There's a group of men sitting around a fire after the apocalypse, there's a musical instrument.

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  • These answers are almost complements of each other. May 10 at 5:37
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This sounds like possibly the anthology Science Fiction Stories. Checking out on ISFDB if my assumption about the "Walk in the Dark" story is correct, this anthology shows as having both that and the short "Who can Replace a Man.

ISFDB "A Walk in the Dark"

ISFDB "Who Can Replace A Man"

Some additional matching items are below. If this is not the right book then at least the link to ISFDB might help you find the right anthology.

I'm fairly sure the book has Science Fiction in the title.

Check.

It also contains Who Can Replace a Man? by Brian W. Aldiss. I think that was either the first, or one of the first few stories in the book.

Check. Is the second one

I can't be sure that it's from the 70s, but that rings a bell.

Check. From 1975

One of the stories near the end has someone investigating a hit and run in a small town. The reveal is that the car either is a sea creature who has copied the appearance of a car or contains a sea creature. It dies from the difference in pressure up here on land, which is unlike the depths it is used to.

Don't think this matches

I believe there is also a story where a man(?) and an alien are playing a complicated, chess-like game. The alien is saying that humans(?) will die out soon and then years later the man(?) wins the "game" because through politics and diplomacy he's had the humans(?) intermingle with the alien species so they will live on that way.

I remember reading this story and cannot remember the name. But looking at what is in this book I don't think it is there.

There's also a story about a criminal who survived a hard-labour camp, I believe, on another world. Usually no one returns, but if you survive then you're allowed to come home after a certain amount of time and kill one person with no consequences. He's happy to be back until all the people he used to love and trust one by one contact him and beg not to be killed. In the process they reveal that they screwed him over in the past, which he never knew. I think his wife created and his business partner stole from him? I believe he dies in the end?

Possible match? Chronopolis is a short story about a man in prison and it relates to time.

I can remember a few more, extremely vaguely.

A astronaut is walking, either alone or following behind his crew, on the surface of some planet and something is following him. I think the story is open-ended, so we don't know if he survives or not.

Check. I believe this is the short story A Walk in the Dark by Arthur C. Clarke

The other shorts don't seem to match. But perhaps you are mixing in some stories from other books as well?

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    Agreed, I believe the OP has conflated this book and The 13 Crimes of Science Fiction since the other 5 are in it. No ID on the post-apocalyptic story yet though. Don't think you're right on Chronopolis though, that's clearly Time in Advance. May 8 at 16:47
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    @OrganicMarble. Yes. Reading the description on Time in Advance you are definitely right on that. It is not Chronopolis. Though, if our hypothesis that the OP is mixing the two books, the fact Chronopolis is also a prisoner story might be contributing to the confusion. I.e. both collections have a prisoner story.
    – beichst
    May 8 at 16:56
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    There’s also The Last Phonograph:- “The earth is battle-scarred and the buildings are gone. Four men are gathered in a cave enjoying a fire. The host managed to save a few books and a phonograph. He agrees to take it out and play a song.”
    – user83948
    May 8 at 18:17

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