Thursday, June 10, 2010
33. The Best of Fredric Brown (edited by Robert Bloch)
Fredric Brown was a prolific writer of science fiction in the 50s and 60s. He wrote for all the major magazines (and not just in the genre ghetto, but for Playboy and Esquire and so on), wrote books and screenplays (the episode "Arena" where Kirk has to battle that lizard dude is based on a Fredric Brown short story). I know him mostly from his novels (The Mind Thing is one of my all-time favourites). He is known for his humour and his really super short stories, like a page with some kind of clever twist. I'm usually lean away from short stories, but this Richard Corben cover (which depicts a scene from a story about the world's best hunter going after a yeti with a twist ending that made me laugh out loud) was just so awesome, I had to pick it up.
I'm glad I did because it was an enjoyable read. I liked the Yeti story. There was also a really good one about a printing press that started to learn. The problem for me with short stories is that just when you are getting into a writer's style, the story ends. So what I do is keep several books of short stories going and I read them when I am in between novels. So I actually started this book several years ago. I forgot a lot of the earlier stories, but a general sense of enjoyment remains.