The book is Desert Oracle, by Ken Layne. The introduction begins with this: “Within these pages are many mysteries of the desert. One tantalizing lede after another across all 33 stories that ramble and wander through the desert, but never stumble, never get lost. Take Layne’s hand, walk into the desert and be greeted by a host of dreamers, mystics, and wanderers. Boundaries between civilization and a kind of hostile, unknowable nature blur and shift at the margins of desert towns.