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Murmur reviews short stories 
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Cattleman wrote:
Murmer, you have brought back a lot of memories to this fan of the short story. I remember reading so many of them. And the authors, a trip down memory lane. When I was a teen-ager my A, B, C's were (Isaa) Asimov, (Ray) Bradbury, and (Arthur C.) Clarke.

BTW, my personal favorite story by Lord Dunsany was "The Two Bottles of Relish."

I think if I had read that one as an adult, I would have liked it more than I do. I had to read that one as a teenager in high school, and the entire high school experience spoiled that story for me.



Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:47 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Murmur wrote:
Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

https://www.amazon.com/Roald-Dahls-Book ... 68&sr=1-12

I mentioned in my previous post that Roald Dahl is extremely overrated. Fortunately, he didn't write any of the stories in this book. He just chose them and put them in a book.

The stories in this book are creepy and spectacularly well done. The book is unusually short for a collection of short stories.

Recommendation: It's a must if you like creepy ghost stories.

I agree, this is a great collection of ghost stories, one of my favorites. By the way, one of Edith Wharton's stories is included in Dahl's collection (Afterward), but she has many more ghost tales as well. Anything by M.R. James is always recommended as well.


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Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:06 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Great Irish Tales of Horror

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Irish-Tale ... 0760703795

Years ago, I read this book. Sadly, I was very disappointed. Most of the stories were a bore.

However, one of the stories stood out. That is, The Miraculous Revenge by George Bernard Shaw. It's an ingenious story. It's more like a humor story than a horror story, but it involves death, so it got put into a collection of horror stories.

Here is a link to read The Miraculous Revenge.

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0606441h.html

Recommendation: Don't bother with the book. Just read The Miraculous Revenge at the link.



Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood

https://www.amazon.com/Stories-Algernon ... 486229777/

My Lovecraft-enthusiast buddy told me about this book. I loved this book.

Here's a table of contents I found online.
Quote:
The willows.
Secret worship.
Ancient sorceries.
The glamour of the snow.
The Wendigo.
The other wing.
The transfer.
Ancient lights.
The listener.
The empty house.
Accessory before the fact.
Keeping his promise.
Max Hensig.


The first two stories are jewels of literature. All of the rest are still enjoyable, but not as good as the first two. Actually, I can barely remember any of the others. I heard The Wendigo as a radio show, recently, and it's not particularly great. It's definitely a weird and enjoyable story, but it's just not as strong as the others. The Empty House is pretty good.

I'm putting this in a spoiler so it won't spoil your enjoyment of the book if you decide to read it. If you decide to read this book, read the Introduction to the book last.
The author of the introduction mentions that Blackwood padded some of his stories to meet a certain length. That definitely shows in some of the stories; they just seem unnecessarily long.

Recommendation: Read it.



Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:43 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
I remember reading both "The willows" and "The Wendigo" many years ago. I also remember seeing an adaptation of "The Wendigo" on a television anothology show (it was fairly old; in black and white).


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Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:28 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Cattleman wrote:
I remember reading both "The willows" and "The Wendigo" many years ago. I also remember seeing an adaptation of "The Wendigo" on a television anothology show (it was fairly old; in black and white).

Did it have a guy whose feet were burning, or at least, very hot?



Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:50 am
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Yes it did; if I remember the line, given off screen it went something like "Oh this firey height, my burning feet."


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Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:01 am
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow

https://books.google.com/books?id=OUKWB ... &q&f=false

I'm pretty sure all of the stories are written by Canadians. Some of the stories were inventive. Unfortunately, I can't remember too many of them, but I do remember a bit of uniqueness among the stories. Overall, the book is ok. Not too many stories stood out as great.

I remember these two, which were enjoyable.

1. We Ate the Children Last. A new operation is made for people who have abdominal trouble.

You can read it here.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/ ... g.fiction4

I discovered, while looking for information about this book, that this story was made into a short film.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlO5gcSvewg

2. This Is Not the End My Friend. Apocalyptic television.

Recommendation: Sadly, I must say, skip it.



Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:23 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the Century

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masterpie ... he_Century

The stories within this book are generally excellent. Unlike other short story collections, I can remember a lot of these.

1. One. By George Alec Effinger. He wrote my favorite sci fi novel, When Gravity Fails.

2. "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman. This story has a very different style than other stories in its time period. This was made into a radio show for the series Mind Webs.

3. Inconstant Moon. The moon's a lot brighter than usual.

4. The Tunnel under the World. A spectacular story. Every day is the same day for some reason.

5. Sandkings. I think this was made into a radio show. I felt dread when reading this.

6. The Road Not Taken. Excellent story about space travel.

7. Dogfight. I truly hate William Gibson's writing style. This story is no exception.

8. Bears Discover Fire. A cute little humor tale.

Recommendation: Read it.



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Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
The Oxford Book of Detective Stories
edited by Patricia Craig

I enjoyed it. If you like detective stories, you'd like it. I can't remember, but I think nearly all of the stories are focused on murder.

Unfortunately, I forgot most of the stories, except for the following.

1. There's a story by AC Doyle. A Sherlock Holmes story. It's well written, sure, but the Sherlock Holmes stories only work because of a sort of perfect environment for them to work. For example, Holmes might say, "If a man wears a fancy hat that's tarnished, then he's an aristocrat who has lost all of his fortune." So, in the Holmes universe, this statement from him is ALWAYS true. Maybe I'm not giving a good example.

2. The Cooperative Defendant by Seicho Matsumoto. This story is translated from Japanese. A few other stories are also translated from other languages, for example, Finnish. This is a really good story that stuck with me. It seems like it was written by an actual detective, judging by how detailed the observations were. Another thing I liked about this story is that I was exposed to a small portion of Japanese culture. I mean, I'm glad it was in a setting other than the usual European or American setting that a lot of stories are in.

3. Brown Eyes and Green Hair by Pentti Kirstila. This was a fun story. It's translated from Finnish. It's not a humor story, but the style gives the story a sort of light, humorish feel.

Recommendation: Read it if you like detective stuff.



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Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:30 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
I think we should read and discuss a book of short stories for our next fiction discussion. Murmur, what are your thoughts on this idea? There is a thread in the What FICTION book should we read and discuss next? forum that could use your input!



Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:49 am
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
I'd participate in a book discussion if it's for a book of short stories. Did you have any in mind? Or should I suggest some at the other thread?



Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:56 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Yes, please suggest a good collection of short stories in that thread.



Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:46 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
I have heard numerous horror radio plays based on Guy de Maupassant's horror story The Horla. I enjoyed them. Without giving away too much, the story is about an invisible being. I decided to find the story and read it.

So, I found The Trip of Le Horla in a collection of Guy de Maupassant's short stories. Here's an example of just such a collection.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3080/3080-h/3080-h.htm

I read it, and boy howdy, that's not a horror story at all. I discovered that it's some whimsical tale of a balloon flight. So, I searched again and found the story The Horla as you can see here.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27722/27 ... 7722-h.htm

I skimmed it and that looks like the one. So, Maupassant wrote two stories with Horla in the name. I translated horla from French in google translate and it's nothing. So, something possessed Maupassant to use that name in two very different stories.

I skimmed Wikipedia's article on The Horla and it makes no mention of the two different stories using the same name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Horla



Thu May 18, 2017 5:57 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction

https://www.amazon.com/Mammoth-Book-Ext ... ce+Fiction

This book is great. The title is accurate, in my opinion, regarding a few stories that I remember. The stuff in these stories are "extreme" in the sense of being very unusual, having extremely large objects, long lifespans, or people with incredible abilities. Stuff like that. Following are a few stories that I can remember, with some spoilers.

1. ... And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon.
Absolutely sucked. Sure, it's weird, but it sucked. Very poorly done. A bunch of funky household gadgets do funky stuff.

2. Crucifixion Variations
Some guys use a technology to view the past to try to prove Christ's existence.

3. The Girl Had Guts
Ah, this was quite interesting. Very unusual. Sort of a sci fi horror story.

A parasite causes animals (which include infected humans) to vomit their digestive system and grow a new one. Even though it's monstrous and kills a few people, after a cure is found for the parasite, the parasite harvested and it becomes medical technology. It's used as an impromptu cure for various cancers of the digestive system.

4. The Days of Solomon Gursky
Sucked. It uses the nursery rhyme of Solomon Grundy as a framework for a larger story. The nursery rhyme and this sci fi story don't actually mesh at all.

5. Wang's Carpets
A highly interesting story. Some weird organisms are found on a planet with unusual patterns on their bodies.

The patterns are highly organized molecules. When the patterns of those molecules are parsed via computer, an emergent process is discovered. Sort of the way that our thoughts and personalities are emergent processes of our brains. The emergent process of the organized molecules forms a 4 dimensional universe with its own inhabitants and events. Basically, the patterned molecules are a grand, naturally occurring computer program, simulating another universe.

6. The Pacific Mystery
Alternate history regarding the events of WW2 and the colonization of the western hemisphere. In this story, Earth isn't an ordinary sphere.
This is an unusual story of exploring the Pacific Ocean, going eastward, past Japan. Very enjoyable story.

7. Waterworld
Some explorers have some trouble while near a planet covered with water. The water and atmosphere are very reactive and they have great difficulty getting resources to continue their journey.

8. Stuffing
Sort of a humorous story about people who rediscover eating with their mouths and digestive system.

9. Hoop-of-Benzene
This is a mystery story, and the setting was a room on a colossal starship. At least I think it's a mystery story.

Recommendation: Read it if you like sci fi. Most of the stories are superb.



Fri May 26, 2017 11:01 pm
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