Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Great Short-Story Collection Purge, Part 5

Greetings and Other Stories (2005) - Terry Bisson

If you're into sf or fantasy, you've probably read Bisson somewhere along the way. His short story "Bears Discover Fire" (which is not in this collection) is considered a modern classic and rightfully so. Bisson has a way of doing (at least) three things really well: His writing is deceptively simple, which makes the first read a pleasure and subsequent reads practically revelatory. Many of his stories are laugh-out-loud (sorry: LOL) funny. But I think the thing I like best about Bisson is his ability to deliver a knockout punch of emotional weight and depth. And he can do all three at once.

"I Saw the Light" is a first contact story, but one so touching you almost want to weep at the end. The second, "Death's Door" is a variation of the old "Death Takes a Holiday" story. Again, deceptively simple, humor, emotion. I wish I knew how he does it. But I'm glad he does.

The Verdict = Keep It

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