A brash, adventurous exploration of sf as reshaper of myths, fairy tales, and archetypes. Most of the reshapings here are ironic or even cautionary: a lonely woman acts out love's most love-destroying fears with a man born of a giant flower (Jonathan Fast); the survivors of an idiot war metamorphose to the more reasonable form of trees and toads (Winn Kearns); the real Christmas of each year's unhappy mortuary statistics is coolly chronicled by Jerrold Mundis. Good retellings of the familiar include Michael Bishop's funny and charming cybernetic reversal of ""The Emperor and the Nightingale"" and Michael Conners version of the Pygmalion legend. R. A. Lafferty achieves one of his raffish blends of unpleasant impossibility (childhood voodoo) and still more unpleasant possibility (adult greed); Disch and John T. Sladek do a marvelous yon DÃ„niken takeoff. There are a few self-important moments, but most of this is acerbic and to the point.