Lucius Shepard is truly a master of the short story and novella form, and this book is proof of it. It's sad to see it out of print, for Shepard's is one of the most challenging voices in fantastic fiction.
Among the tales included, the most astounding is "R&R", which won a Nebula Award. This is a masterpiece that showcases Shepard's main themes: war, magic and the intoxicating jungle. With brief details of SF, mostly it is his interpretation of Latin American magical realism.
After this, the tales I found more haunting are "How the Wind Spoke at Madaket" and "The End of Life as we Know it". The first one, a horror tale about a wind elemental ravaging a town, tells about the impossibility of love when confronting mindless desire. The second one is about a couple on the verge of splitting, finding shamanism in the Guatemalan jungle and changing them and their relationship forever.
The rest of the stories explore different shades of this same mix of magic and exoticism, and not a single one falters: "The Jaguar Hunter", "The Night of White Bairab", "Salvador", "Black Coral", "A Traveller's Tale", "Mengele", "The Man who Painted the Dragon Griaule" and "A Spanish Lesson".
I had read this book years ago in a Spanish translation. Recently, I found an original copy in a big chain bookstore, and snatched it right away. Whatta treasure! If you are lucky enough to find a copy, grab it up. You won't regret doing so.