Those of us who live in the Southwest are more exposed to the nuances of the Mexican language than perhaps other Americans, although the Mexican culture has influenced all corners of the country. Many Mexican words and phrases—and we don’t mean “Spanish” as frequently the two are worlds apart—have worked their way into the English idiom to the extent they are an integral part of the Anglo-American language. However, Olla Podrida is not one of those terms to have gained such widespread familarity. An Olla is a clay pot. The functional interpretation of the combination, Olla Podrida, is “a highly seasoned stew.” This collection of short fiction under the Olla Podrida standard is not about Mexico, the Southwest, nor is it a cookbook. It is, though, a highly seasoned mixture that includes story settings around the country, around the world. The flavor and spice come from the people, the characters, and their involvement with other people, and in some cases, from plots shaped by chance or enigmatic influences. Enjoy the stew!