How do you rationalize or apply realism to something you only get a glimpse of, something you can't experience long enough to measure and quantify? Although, come to think, there are some stories and novels addressing just that, like Richard Matheson's Hell House. And I should be clear, the stories are not airy. Her descriptive powers are vital and occasionally astonishing, her characters understandable and those qualities coupled with her background as a student of paleontology -- she has published articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals -- ground her stories, giving them a base from which to launch her more esoteric flights of invention. And there are a few stories in To Charles Fort, With Love that are a bit more traditional, including a couple that remind me of Ray Bradbury's stories of the family (e.g. "Homecoming," "Uncle Einar") though I probably wouldn't have thought of that if Ramsey Campbell hadn't mentioned it in his afterward to the collection. Still, Kiernan's writing reminds me at times of the Bradbury of "The Foghorn" or portions of Something Wicked This Way Comes -- stories as much about the experience as they are about resolution. Randy M.