In ""The Strange Adventures of Alcavilu"" the hero barely has time to enjoy being airborne before he finds himself returning to earth. Most of the flights of fancy in this collection of tales from the Indians of Latin America are equally brief. Missing are the telling details and evocative descriptions and mounting suspense that make a story memorable; instead we have stilted language studded with cliches. With a few exceptions, the stories are interesting chiefly for their diverse origins and for their insight into local customs and beliefs. An encyclopedia-style introduction identifies and describes each of the Indian tribes represented. Safe to call it Supplementary Reading, that's all.