This week I’ve been reading from two anthologies and a collection:
“The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” by Arthur Conan Doyle from Guilty Creatures – Sherlock Holmes is asked to discover the killer, by scourge or whip, of a local Sussex teacher. This is the final Holmes story Doyle wrote.
“The Case of Jannisary” by Arthur Morrison from Guilty Creatures – A case of a murder, a crooked bookie and an inquiry agent. Morrison’s usual stiff style, but a good story.
“The Sapient Monkey” by Headon Hill (Francis Edward Grainger) from Guilty Creatures – Sebastian Zambra solves a bank robbery when all the evidence points to the wrong man.
“The Green Parakeet” by F. Tennyson Jesse from Guilty Creatures – an odd story about a woman, Solange Fontaine, who can sense evil in persons, and acts when possible to prevent or solve crimes. In this story, a loving couple give their adored adopted child a parakeet, with deadly result.
“The Oracle of the Dog” by G. K. Chesterton, from Guilty Creatures – an impossible murder explained by what the dog did, though the humans misunderstood the facts.
“The Improbable Monsieur Owen” by Georges Simenon from Death Threats And Other Stories – Maigret, retired and on holiday, is called upon to solve a murder in a luxury hotel.
Introduction by Neil Clarke, to The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 1 edited by Neil Clark. Similar to the state of the genre introductions Gardner Dozois did for his Best Of anthologies, but more concise. (see note, below)
“Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker from The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 1 edited by Neil Clark – a medical care android that is able to emulate family members cares for an elderly woman patient. Touching.
“Calved” by Sam J. Miller, from The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 1 edited by Neil Clark – in a dystopian future, a laborer and his son are victims of their generation gap.
note: The 800 page Best SF anthology wasn’t pleasing me. I read an additional six stories and didn’t like a single one of them. I suspect short SF in the twenty-first century isn’t the SF I grew up loving. So off this goes to the library donation store, along with the volumes for the following three years. I’ll focus my reading on the SF that is more “old style”.