Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead is a collection of short stories that combines the fantastic with the prosaic. A woman walks into a Quik-Mart and winds up on a hillside, surrounded by swords and scimitars. A tedious post-college job isn’t quite as boring as it seems. And girls and boys flirt and touch and fly off buildings and escape Byzantine soldiers and pirouette and fall. Each time I thought I had these stories figured, they came around a corner to surprise me anew.