Monday, June 08, 2009
The Great Short-Story Collection Purge, Part 7
In for a Penny: Stories (2003) - James Blaylock
I've had this ex-library signed limited edition sitting patiently on the shelves for probably three or four years. The cover depicts a man of possibly the late nineteenth-century in his library, leaning on a stack of books (no doubt his "To Read" pile), absorbing a volume illuminated by streaks of sunlight invading the room. It's a very nostalgic scene.
The first two stories from In for a Penny also struck me as rather nostalgic, not so much because of their setting, but rather their style. Blaylock reminds me a bit of Bradbury, who can also be nostalgic. Although not stated as such, these stories could be from another era. They feel like they're from another time. (And that's a compliment.) The two stories also have a sort of Twilight Zone-ish flavor. I can't really say why, although the second story, "The War of the Worlds" does have a bit of a twist ending, a frequent TZ device. Like many Zone episodes, however, you can pretty much tell where the ending is headed. Yet that doesn't take anything away from the story. It's a good story (although I think it goes on for a little too long). So is the opening tale, "The Other Side," about a man with limited precognitive abilities who becomes obsessed with his powers.
Yet these are stories I probably will not revisit. Plus I already have several representations of Blaylock's work in anthologies (which also need to be weeded through). So, I'm afraid that for this one....
The Verdict = Purge It.
Next: From These Ashes: The Complete Short SF of Fredric Brown