Wry stories set in the New West, where athleticism is a religion and personal commitment a sin. Rember (Coyote in the Mountains--not reviewed) creates characters who dance around wildly, trying not to get too close to anyone; but his ironic authorial distance can sometimes be trying. Many characters show up in more than one story, coupling and breaking up constantly. In the title story, a woman named Punkin reveals that she has left men ``because she couldn't stand them touching her, couldn't stand them up close.'' After an argument with his girlfriend, Hardesty goes out to ski at night and starts an avalanche with his primal scream in ``Zombie.'' ``Post Cowboy Dreams'' follows a would-be cowboy who runs pony rides as he recounts how his wife left him, then picks up a tourist. ``Endorphin Madness'' tracks a man's conversion from drugs to the highs of physical exercise. In ``There's a Wreck at the Top of Mount Mammon,'' a man identified as ``the Ancient Ski Patrolman'' has a nightmare about a woman dying in an accident on a slope called Heaven. Annie, who is fast approaching 40, is taken off- guard by Hardesty's marriage proposal in ``Flowering.'' Interesting tales that repeat the same vision, sometimes fortifying it and sometimes detracting from it.