An eclectic and frisky twelve-piece collection, including four previously unpublished, from ethnic mystery and sf writer Kaye (My Brother, The Druggist, 1979; The Masters of Solitude, 1979, with Parke Godwin). The sole sf item, ""Helping Hand,"" is in the traditional style, short and with a kicker of an ending. The macabre title novelette--pointed but overextended--concerns an elderly man who, abused beyond endurance, embarks on a bloody campaign to revenge himself upon his younger tormentors. And there's lots of hardworking humor in the fantasy pieces: two ghost stories, three with infernal beings, a new wrinkle on the deal-with-the-devil theme--and ""Grumblefritz,"" about a lonesome monster who feeds on fantasy and is starving for lack of Great American Dreams. Plus--in a literary-games vein--three odd diversions featuring peripheral characters from The Wizard of Oz, Macbeth, and A Christmas Carol. Not for sf purists, but some clever doo-dads for those who share Kaye's taste for occult whimsy and ethnic comedy.