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Murmur reviews short stories 
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
I listened to a Sherlock Holmes radio play today. It's from March 11, 1946. It's called The Living Doll. It was an entertaining show. However, this was, by far, the dumbest solution to a mystery I have read/heard for a Sherlock Holmes story.

The dumbness is as follows.

1. Three suitors, named Tanner, King, and Pound, are pursuing a woman. Each wants to marry her.
2. She has a daughter, and she refuses to marry so she can devote her time to her daughter.
3. One of the men wants to murder the daughter, so that the woman will be available to marry. He wants to use black magic. A crone is employed to help him with this.
4. The magic fails, and the would-be murderer attempts to kill the crone.
5. Holmes reaches the crone's home while she is being throttled, and interrupts the murder. The murderer escapes. While she is still alive, she opens a secret hiding place in her home. It was covered by a loose brick. She removes it and inside are gold sovereigns, pennies, and sixpence. She pulls out a sixpence and shows it to Holmes. She moans and dies.
6. The word "sovereign" means king. But it's worth a pound. So a sovereign is related to the last names of two of the suitors.
7. However, the crone held a sixpence. The common name for sixpence is "tanner". Thus, she was indicating that Tanner was the murderer, and he was.

Oh, come on! How lame is that!



Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:10 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
I remember that great story written by Leo Tolstoy "What Men Live By." This is really very nice. I was still 2nd year high school at that time.


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Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:40 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Best Ghost Stories of J.S. LeFanu

I read the story Squire Toby's Will many years ago. It is a jewel in English literature. It's a creepy story and incredibly well written. So, I decided to read some more from LeFanu. This book has a few good stories. Sadly, a substantial portion of the book is a bore and fairly dense. The most notable stories in the book are:

1. Squire Toby's Will. Already mentioned.
2. Carmilla. This story is the literary predecessor of Dracula. It's clear that Stoker borrowed some pieces from Carmilla. I'm pretty sure that this was made into some radio plays. Carmilla was made into more than one movie. The movie that was the most faithful to the source material is the soft core porn movie The Vampire Lovers. The story Carmilla has some lesbian-ish aspects, so the fact that The Vampire Lovers is erotic isn't so outlandish.
3. Green Tea. A creepy red eyed critter bothers a guy. This was made into some radio plays.

Squire Toby's Will should be made into a movie. If you intend to read Squire Toby's Will, don't view the spoiler below.

Squire Toby's Will is considered one of the most well written stories in the English language. I agree with that. I was amazed at how English words were used to evoke dread, in particular the part about following the shadows created by candle light.

Recommendation: Sadly, I must say skip it. However, read Squire Toby's Will, Carmilla, and Green Tea. Find them on gutenberg or some free site.



Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:56 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
Beyond the Stars
A Planet Too Far
A Space Opera Anthology


This is a very good collection of sci fi stories. Most sci fi stories have male protagonists, especially older stories. These stories have a noticeable female orientation. Female protagonists in this book are common. Women with authority are common. About half of the authors in this book are women, and each author has a brief interview with the editor at the end of each story.

Each story is its own universe. The authors do a good job in the creation of their respective universes.

Some stories are:

1. The Mergans. It's a story about a hideous culture that is supremely oppressive, and the destruction of that culture.
2. Services Rendered. This story is like the prequel to another story of a motley crew of spacers who go on space adventures. Actually, I think that's exactly what it is.
3. Spike in a Rail. An adventure aboard a space station. Sort of like a mystery.

Recommendation: Read it if you like sci fi.



Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:18 pm
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Post Re: Murmur reviews short stories
The Cyberiad
by Stanislaw Lem

I haven't finished this book yet. I've read half of it so far. I want to write a review of it now while a lot of it is fresh in my mind.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. It's a humorous sci fi book. It's a collection of short stories, all within the same universe. The protagonists are a duo of "constructors" named Trurl and Klapaucius. Most of the denizens of the universe are robotic, including the protagonists. Trurl and Klapaucius are extraordinarily inventive and are capable of building machines that can perform god-like feats.

The stories were written around 1965 in Polish, and translated around 1974 in English. This is a curious thing to me, because the stories very heavily rely on combinations of English words. I'll just use wikipedia's favorite word to label them: portmanteus. For example, there's a machine called a "femfatalatron". That's a combination of the phrase "femme fatale" and adding the suffix "tron" to make it sound like a machine. There's a device called a "dracometer" for detecting dragons. Some royalty have the names Atrocitus, Excelsius, and Altruizia. So, how was this done in Polish? It seems to me that the Polish language must have an equal capacity for portmanteus and word play as English.

A lot of the logic in the book is Wonderlandian. Unfortunately, I can't remember any examples to provide in this post.

One of my favorite pair of sentences in the book is:
Klapaucius was in a spaceship, and he was flying past a planet. He saw someone waving at him so he stopped.

Recommendation: If you like sci fi, read it.



Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:10 am
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