Books: Imaginary Toads

GETTING INTO DEATH AND OTHER STORIES

by THOMAS M. DISCH

227 pages. Knopf. $7.95.

It is one thing to cerebrate; to narrate is quite another. On the evidence of these 16 collected tales, Author Thomas M. Disch, 36, can do both. Previously known as a writer of science fiction, Disch includes only one story—The Planet Arcadia—in the intergalactic mode. The rest adhere to a bizarre present that only the likes of Lewis Carroll or John Collier could produce.

Thus in The Colors, the stages of a love affair are portrayed as a psychedelic journey through the spectrum of the rainbow, from red...