Metamorphosis Blues, the latest collection of short fiction from Bruce Taylor, has all the familiar elements fans expect: the meticulously constructed, rhythmic—indeed, almost musical—prose; dreamscapes where t-shirts can talk and the “raw stuff of space” is embodied in a man’s featureless face; arachnophilia (or phobia?). The familiar themes are here, too: the importance of childhood friendships; the ever-present threat of the past; the fine line between good and evil, where parents turn too easily into abusers and Santa is an anagram of Satan; and, most importantly, the overriding sense that the world, though sometimes dreadful, is full of wonder and magic. My favorites include “Movies,” the tale of a family theater trip that descends into surreal, comic violence; “The Ear of Ozone,” a ludicrously overblown pastiche of bad sci-fi writing which stars a malodorous alien, a semi-clad girl, and a cowboy with a one-word vocabulary; “You Can Hardly Wait,” the story of a nursing home resident, Bruce, who eagerly anticipates the apocalypse. This book makes me want to buy a telescope and watch the night sky for radioactive meteorites and cosmic death spiders. The end is nigh, and isn’t it comforting to know?