Short Story February week 1

Here’s my first week (five days, Feb 1-5) of reading, in story – author – source format. An asterisk indicates a story I particularly liked

the-jurassic-chroniclesAlien Animal Encounters * – John Scalzi – Miniatures
Bring Bring * – Conrad Aiken – Collected Stories of Conrad Aiken
The English Adventure – Paul Theroux – Paul Theroux, The Collected Stories
After the War – ibid
Words Are Deeds – ibid
Ghostweight – Yoon Ha Lee – Clarkesworld Year 5, edited by Neil Clarke
Perfect Lies * – Gwendolyn Claire – ibid
Tying Knots – Ken Liu – ibid
The Reckoning of Sins – Alison Joseph – Motives For Murder, edited by Martin Edwards
The False Inspector Lovesey – Andrew Taylor – ibid
The Walrus and the Spy – Catherine Aird – ibid
Dreaming of Rain and Peter Lovesey * – Ann Cleeves – ibid
Death In Pasig * – Raoul Whitfield – West of Guam: The Complete Cases of Jo Gar
Red Hemp – ibid
Signals Of Storm * – ibid
Fatal Mutation ** – Anthony Melchiorri – The Jurassic Chronicles edited by Samuel Peralta
Noble Savage – Terry Maggert – ibid
An Implant And A Hard Place * – Zen Dipietro – ibid
In the Desert Like A Bone – Seanan McGuire – The Starlit Wood edited by Dominik Parisien
Underground – Karen Tidbek – ibid
Even The Crumbs Were Delicious  – Daryl Gregory – ibid
The Super Ultra Duchess of Fedora Forest – Charlie Jane Anders – ibid
Szcar’s Trial – Harry Manners – ibid
Shall We Take A Little Walk – Gregory Benford – Worldmakers, SF Adventures In Terraforming edited by Gardner Dozois
The Catherine Wheel – Ian McDonald – ibid
Sunken Garden – Bruce Sterling – ibid
Out of Copyright * – Charles Sheffield – ibid

A few thoughts:
I read 28 stories in five days, which I think is pretty good! While reading one of the stories, “Signals of Storm”, wind and rain lashed at the windows beside my chair, while the characters were chasing a killer as a typhoon came onshore. Perfect!

Although I had high expectation for The Starlit Wood, after the first 6 of 13 stories I was disappointed, so I’m not going to continue reading it.

My favorite story of the week was “Fatal Mutation” by Anthony Melchiorri, the first story in The Jurassic Chronicles, which I downloaded as an ebook purely by chance. A solid anthology so far.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, current reading, Fantasy, Fiction, literary fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Short Story February. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Short Story February week 1

  1. tracybham says:

    Wow, 28 stories. That is pretty good. I have only read 10 (from three different books). I would claim that my full time job makes a difference but several of those were weekend days or vacation for me, so that doesn’t work.

  2. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    From Anno Dracula 1899 by Kim Newman:
    Famous Monster
    A Drug On the Market
    Illiminate Domain
    Just Like Eddy
    Chill Cluth of the Unseen
    Red Jacks Wild
    The Intervention
    The Snow Sculptures of Xanadu
    The Coastal City Completist Heaven
    Yokai:Anno Dracula 1899
    Une Entrance Aventure de Richard Blaine

    Coco Butternut a new Hap & Leonard Novella I downloaded by Joe Lansdale.
    Stones & Glass by Mathew Hughes from F&SF Nov-Dec 2013
    Wetherfalls Reef Runes by Marc Laidlaw from F&SF Jan-Feb 2017
    The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar from F&SF July-Aug 20
    The Moon Moth by Jack Vance from The Jack Vance Reader

    From Some Will Not Sleep by Adam Nevill:
    Yellow Teeth
    Where Angels Come In
    The Original Occupant
    Mothers Milk

    The Distributor by Richard Matheson

    The Matheson and the Vance were old favorites that I reread from the third or fourth time.
    Not a clinker in the Newman or Neville books. My favorites were Illiminate Domain and Red Jacks Wild(a sequel to Robert Bloch’s Yours Truly Jack the Ripper). The Hughes is part of a series he is doing for F&SF. Was really impressed by the Lavie Tidhar. A alternate history novella.
    22 stories for me. Also working on a novel-The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter-a sequel to War of the Worlds.

    • Excellent, Steve, you really are in the spirit of short story February! You read some very good stories there. I’ve found Tidhar to be uneven, I liked s couple novels in one series, didn’t like another at all.

  3. Jerry House says:

    You’re starting of February with a bang, Richard! And Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow, so you have six more weeks of short stories!

    For me short stories were limited to one Asimov/Waugh/Greenberg collection, GREAT SCIENCE FICTION STORIES BY THE WORLD”S GREAT SCIENTISTS — a collection of 21 stories. As usual for these anthologies, a healthy mixture of familiar and unfamiliar tales. Good to great reading, although a few stories were on the pedantic side, emphasizing concepts over plot.

    I also read two by Lester del Rey from the Winston Adventures in SF series: THE MYSTERIOUS PLANET (originally published as by “Kenneth Wright” and my FFB this week) and ROCKET JOCKEY (originally published under del Rey’s “Philip St. John” pseudonym). The first was a rather weak book with some good stuff buried in the dreck; ROCKEY JOCKEY was a rousing adventure of young space pilot reluctantly entering an interplanetary race and encountering many setbacks.

    Richard S. Wheeler’s EASY PICKINGS was about a young Scottish women who came to Montana with her husband and baby to mine for gold. The same day he is killed in a landslide in their hardscrabble mine, her cabin is torched and her baby is killed. Now she must find a way to stand up to a powerful political cabal determined to take the mine from her. A good powerful story with local color and impossible odds against the heroine. Sadly, it is resolved in the last few pages with an unconvincing deus ex machina. The story does show that you don’t want to go up against and angry Scot, and you certainly don’t want to go against an angry Scottish woman.

    Robert B. Parker’s NIGHT AND DAY is another Jesse Stone novel starts with a female school principal lifting the skirts of 13-year-olds to see if their underwear is “appropriate” and soon segues to an increasingly daring peeping tom. As always with Parker, this one was a fast, easily forgettable book. I find that whenever I read a Jesse Stone I read it with Tom Selleck’s voice in my head; it just seems right and is a tribute to Selleck’s portrayal of the character on television.

    I also continued my journey through Roald Dahl’s children’s books, reading DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, ESIO TROT, and ROALD DAHL’S DIRTY BEASTS. I have a few more books on order from the library, after which I’ll probably call it quits for a while.

    It’s been a bit of a hectic week here, varying between warm and cold and rainy and sunny and windy and calm. The weather just seems befuddled and can’t make up its mind. Our youngest granddaughter turned 15, got her learner’s permit, traveled to Alabama for a competition and had a birthday party for a zillion of her very best friends. Our 16-year-old grandson ran a 15K race and came in second in his age group and 30th out of 5,000 runners. The Pats won the Super Bowl. (In your face, Roger Goodell!) And we got a pretty ugly dog; we’ll be picking up on Thursday.

    And how was your week?

    • Jerry, do I assume you’re getting those Asimov etc. collections from the library, and the Winston books from there too? I’ve not thought to check for the latter at mine, maybe I will, I had some favorites of them back when.

      Congrats on all the family accomplishments, including the ugly dog, all dogs need love, even the less attractive of them. Our weather has been consistent, rain, temps hovering at freezing, pretty typical for here in January. Read some short stories this week.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Nice list! I really liked that Lovesey tribute collection, and the Cleeves was a particularly good one.

    I read 20 stories, including the collection MR. TALL: A Novella and Stories by Tony Earley. (I liked the first story, “Haunted Castles of the Barrier Islands.”) Also read a number of shorter stories by Lovecraft, Saki, Stephen Crane, Hemingway, O. Henry, Ambrose Bierce. Not sure what I’m going to read this week.

    Also read a couple of novels: MADRIGAL FOR CHARLIE MUFFIN (which I finally got back to) by Brian Freemantle, which was disappointing after the superior earlier books in the series, and AMONG THE WICKED, the latest (to date) Kate Burkholder mystery by Linda Castillo. I’m reading the latest Salvo Montalbano book by Andrea Camilleri now.

    • I’m not sure if I’ll keep up the pace this week, we’ll see. I haven’t even gotten to several of the books in my “rotation, including the Hemingway, Anderson, or new Edwards edited anthology. This week, I think. Also, see my comment to George on reading.

      I have so many short story collections here it’s a relief when I finish one, but reading 3 or 4 at a time in a book doesn’t get me finished very quickly.

  5. Patti Abbott says:

    I read the first four in the O’Hara collection and I have to say the upper middle-class characters trouble me. I know the region that Gibbsville is set in and it’s mostly miners.

  6. macavityabc says:

    Well, I said I was going to stick to novels, but I was looking at a shelf and spotted a Westlake collection, THE CURIOUS FACTS PRECEDING MY EXECUTION, and I’ve read the first three stories in it. Also spotted William Humphrey’s A TIME AND A PLACE and have read a couple in that one, too.

  7. I starting reading Neil Clarke’s GALACTIC EMPIRES that just was published on February 1. Inspired by Jeff Meyerson decades ago, I’ve gotten in the habit of reading a short story each day. Here’s whatI read since you kicked off FEBRUARY SHORT STORY MONTH:
    – “Winning Peace” by Paul J. McAuley
    – “Night’s Slow Poison” by Ann Leckie
    – “All the Painted Stars” by Gwendolyn Clare
    – “Firstborn” by Brandon Sanderson
    – “Riding the Crocodile” by Greg Egan
    I liked the Sanderson story best, but the others were good, too. GALACTIC EMPIRES is shaping up to be a first-rate anthology.

    • From the review I read, it looked to be very good, glad you’re enjoying it.

      I’ve tried to read a short story a day, but always get bogged down, unless I get focused like SS Feb. I’ve already read more stories this month than I did during September through January.

  8. I talked short stories with my wife over the weekend, recommending various tales to her, mostly old SF pieces.

  9. Redhead says:

    I like that you just grabbed a bunch of interesting looking short stories! i used to feel so guilty picking up an anthology and not reading every story. Not so anymore! I’ll pick up an anthology, read a half dozen stories, and put it right back on the shelf.

    I’ve been dabbling in “Upgraded” edited by Neil Clarke, the stories all have some kind of cyborg angle to them. The two I’ve liked the most so far are Married by Helena Bell and Synecdoche Oracles by Benjanun Sriduangkaew. I tried maybe a half dozen more, and so far they were all duds. I might try a few more, I might not. Maybe cyborg stories just generally aren’t for me?

    • I took a dozen off the shelf and laid them out in a line on the dining room table. I tried to put them in an order so the genres were mixed. I had Barbara give me a number at random, counted from the left and that’s where I started. I also have 2 ebooks in the mix, so 14 total. When I gave up on Starlit Wood (such a disappointment), I replaced it with another off the shelf, just what was on top of a (one of many) pile. It’s fun having such a variety, all laid out, but with the structure of that line of books to keep me…kind of guided.

  10. Richard, I’m afraid I didn’t read any short stories but I will be keenly following what you and others are reading. There are some fine stories by equally fine writers here and “28 stories in five days” is splendid.

  11. fence says:

    28 is a lot! I don’t think I’d be able to keep track of them all 🙂

    Disappointed to hear that Starlit Woods isn’t working for you, it sounded like a decent collection from the blurb. May wait to see if I can grab it from the library rather than buying.

    • I jot down the story-author-source on the iPad when I finish one. I was disappointed too, but made the decision, after 6 for me duds in a row, to skip the rest. You know the saying, “too many books, too little time”. Remember also I may have beginners enthusiasm.

      • fence says:

        I certainly do know that saying 🙂
        And I hope you beginner’s enthusiasm keeps you going.

        • Yes, well. I’ve gotten to The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, and the going has gotten slower. First, there’s small print, but mostly it’s the writing being more dense, I find I’m reading more carefully, minding the language in a way I didn’t with the mystery and science fiction. I don’t know if the writing demands that of me, or I demand it of the writing, if that makes any sense.

  12. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I now have three massive collections going:

    F. Scott Fitzgerald, COMPLETE (nearly 150!) STORIES
    William Humphrey, COLLECTED STORIES

    • That’s a lot of reading. I’m not familiar with Humphrey. Sometimes the big complete collections are too much at a time, but by rotating through with others, it’s fine. You’ll tell all about it in a comment to Monday’s post, yes?

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