The longest of this series of short stories deals with a strange woman who leads a man into a series of lengthy corridors beneath his house. The work is eerie, strange and at its best when wordless. The plots don't always make sense, aiming more for a dreamlike quality: one moment, the man and woman lost in the corridors are strangers, the next they're lovers comforting each other after a tsunami. The other stories have more pull: a woman wearing a helmet that lets her see TV struggles with the reception aerial, and a girl traveling a barren landscape finds and rides a gigantic slug that, at one point, swallows her only to regurgitate her at the ride's end. Ward's art is absolutely enchanting. The unrelated stills at the end of the book are worth as much as the stories; it's got an arty steampunk, tentacle-porn edge that's charming and deep. Gazing at his images of leggy, soulful girls with octopi, spiders and other creepy-crawlies on leashes, you understand the appeal of the genre. In the end, however, Ward seems one of a growing number of illustrator/cartoonists who are more evocative artists than true storytellers. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.