"The Terminal Beach" - A man who does not come to terms with the premature death of his wife and son steals away onto an island of Eniwetok, once used for testing nuclear weapons. Between the decaying buildings on the island, the reader follows his mental and physical decline.
"A Question of Re-entry" - This story has some parallels to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, with the protagonist traveling upriver in the Amazon rain forest, to meet a European who went native. The story evolves around the clash between civilization-based knowledge and native belief.
"The Drowned Giant" - A giant human(oid) body washes ashore. The initial wonder soon gives way to banality as people start to climb over the body and remove or vandalize parts of it until the body is completely dismembered. It is then widely believed that the giant never existed at all.
"End-Game" - A psychological match between a person on death row, who lives with his executioner in a comfortable house, and does not know the time and day of his execution. To pass the time, they are playing chess and at the same time the death candidate tries to win a game of persuasion.
"The Lost Leonardo" - A painting by Leonardo da Vinci of the Crucifixion of Jesus is stolen from the Louvre Museum. Two art directors, seeking the thief, examine several crucifixion paintings, each also previously stolen, and discern a hitherto-unnoticed man in each one. Not only is the face recognizably the same in each, no matter which artist, country, or century, the portraits of this man are also alterations of the original paintings. They determine he is the Wandering Jew, and also the thief and forger.