Bishop's latest collection (One Winter in Eden, 1984, etc.) brings together 15 tales, 198696, drawn from a wide variety of periodicals and anthologies, many with a strong mainstream/experimental flavor. Best is the title piece, a splendid tongue-in-cheek fantasy about a Japanese-style ritual suicide in a Deep South town. ``God's Hour'' posits a weekly hour of TV direct from the deity--and if you don't watch, you go to hell. A dying St. Augustine is lectured on advanced Chinese cosmology by his long- lost son, and on evolution by an African tribesman, in ``For This Do I Remember Carthage.'' And Judas gets a thoroughgoing workout in ``I, Iscariot.'' Other ideas range from Crucifixion ironies, butterflies, snakehandling, jukeboxes, death, and cats to chaos theory, ghosts, and conversations with God. Chilly, intellectual, extended metaphorical ruminations for the most part, with the emotions only rarely engaged: for minority tastes only.