Derek Updegraff's latest collection of fifteen short stories, Pup! Et cetera, continues his exploration of fictional characters whose lives are fascinating and completely unexpected. Take, for example, the wife who cartwheels and backflips in the living room or the two men in Husky who hug and sob and console one another. Consider the man who holds a bag of ice between his hands because he's the poor bastard who grabbed the hot potato. There is, in this book, a pulse of familiarity in all the strangeness, something to cling to as sirens rage louder and louder, and One walks to the door and says, "Come. Let's make more rock piles instead.