Fifteen tales, including one unpublished entry, from 198494, by fantasist Goldstein (Summer King, Winter Fool, p. 349, etc.). One group of stories draw upon the author's Jewish heritage: a family ghost from the Holocaust; Elijah at a Passover seder; a Hansel and Gretel variant; and--the unpublished yarn--a real-life 17th-century would-be messiah's puzzling self-destruction. A second group are set in the imaginary, oddly elusive country of Amaz, where magic works and news is circulated through packs of fortune- telling cards. Goldstein also includes the story prototype of her novel Tourists. The remainder evince somewhat more varied themes and range from photographs that predict the future, Cinderella's marriage, Demeter and Persephone, aliens intent on destroying the world, and a tribe of mysterious, magical travelers, to Sir Walter Raleigh's search for El Dorado, artistic perceptions, and a young woman transcending her regimented, push-button existence. The backdrops never appear vivid or distinctive enough to enable the reader to distinguish among the often adroit plot twists and carefully limned characters; the upshot is an agreeable but blandly amorphous blur.