Actually, not quite original: Grails first appeared in 1992 as a 200,000-word hardcover limited to 1,000 copies. This volume is the first half of an expanded edition totalling 300,000 words (a second volume is promised for August 1994) and arrives courtesy of the editors who thought up last year's Confederacy of the Dead anthology. Strangely, though dedicating the book to Fritz Leiber, and including an afterword by him, the editors fail to mention that Leiber died in 1992. So, then, this first volume comprises three poems, one ``masque in verse,'' 20 stories, and the aforementioned afterword. Evidently, the authors were encouraged to take the idea of ``grail'' as metaphor and then run with it; sometimes they ran very far indeed. The results range from orthodox grail stories through Arthurian connections to elves, gypsies, the sun, westerns, WW I, charlatans, Atlantis, genies and wishes, second sight, freedom, visions, immortality, mad professors, baseball gloves, Down's syndrome, the Philosopher's Stone, and space-time distortions. The famous contributors include Andre Norton, Jane Yolen, Gene Wolfe, Alan Dean Foster, and Orson Scott Card. Patchy and discursive, with one or two real delights, some pleasant surprises and an equal number of clunkers.