Fifteen stories, 1990—97, all more or less unclassifiable, gathered under an eminently appropriate title: Wolfe’s first collection since Endangered Species (1989). The more science fiction—flavored entries include: a woman pursued by the robot she helped develop; a collapse-of-civilization yarn about a little boy abandoned in a computerized house; and a strange trio of time-traveling female invaders. Yarns leaning toward fantasy: a far-future campfire horror story; an amusing yarn based on a Russian folk tale; an excruciating dilemma on the road to Hell; a human boy enslaved by the queen of the ghouls; some weird goings-on in a magic dollhouse; and, in a knottily Borgesian yarn, a phrase-book for an unknown language draws odd visitors to an old-fashioned bookshop. Elsewhere, there are two talking-animal clowns trapped on a planet where humans are oppressed by alien elves; a strange school in a low-tech future where a dead man thinks in Latin; and a space war controlled by God’s chess game with the Devil. Finally, in the last story, a man, deprived of dreams in life, dies, only to become a character in the lead-off yarn about a permanent traffic jam that’s developed a culture of its own. Painstaking and precise, though often wrought without recourse to ordinary logic: for readers who enjoy oblique, magisterial puzzles that don’t necessarily have solutions.