This Side Of Reality ($14.99 paperback original; Aug. 31, 1996; 230 pp.; 1-85242-378-1): A gathering of 17 accomplished stories, written over the past 30 years by some of Czechoslovakia's major modern writers. Political instability and oppression under Communist rule are prominent foreground presences, though--as in much of classic and contemporary Czech writing--comic surrealism is clearly the preferred literary method. There are funny contributions from such famed authors as Bohumil Hrabal, Ji° Grua, and Josef kvoreck, and two gems: the late Ladislav Fuks's lyrical portrait of a dreamy boy imagining his escape from his imprisoning country (``Kchony Sees the World''), and especially Ivan Kl°ma's ``Tuesday Morning: A Sentimental Comedy,'' a heartfelt and hilarious account of a dissident writer's efforts to remain his own man, and even conduct a love affair, while living under suspicion and surveillance. His advice to himself might stand as a motto for all Czech writing: ``You have a choice: either you set fire to yourself, or you make fun of it all.'' A delightful and exhilarating collection.