I'm a huge fan of the short stories of Jim Shepard, so I thought I'd search out his out-of-print, first collection of stories, Batting Against Castro (1996). I should have researched more about it, because there are only four stories that I hadn't read before: "Atomic Tourism," "Who We Are, What We're Doing," "Nosferatu," and "Ida." The rest ("Batting Against Castro," "Reach for the Sky," "Messiah," "Spending the Night with the Poor," "Eustace," "Mars Attacks," "Piano Starts Here," "Runaway," and "Krakatau") are included in his 2004 collection Love and Hydrogen. And there are certainly some gems among those reprinted stories. "Atomic Tourism" is a story about a couple who nonchalantly does some disaster tourism after America is nuked by the Russians. "Who We Are, What We're Doing" is a short story about jet pilots which employs the lingo of said pilots. "Nosferatu" reads like a fictional production diary of director F.W. Murnau during the making of his classic film of the same name. Incidentally, it seems that Shepard fleshed this story out to write a short novel of the same title, which was published in 1998. "Ida" is a metaphor of a family told through NFL football circa the late 70s as the protagonist quarterback and his mother are playing against the Steelers vaunted defense of the 70s and his mother continues to plow away at eh defense by running the ball as instructed by the father (her husband) and the uncle. What the metaphor is supposed to represent is beyond me though. I can see why the publishers included so many of the stories from this collect in the next-they are many exceptional stories in this book.