Tuesday, February 28, 2017

More Short Stories in February

Here is a summary to conclude my short story reading in February, inspired by a suggestion from Richard Robinson at Tip the Wink. Since my last update on February 18, my short story reading has slowed down but I still got quite a few read before the end of the month.

Almost as soon as I finished Michael Gilbert’s Game Without Rules, consisting of eleven stories about two middle-aged spies, I purchased the second book, titled simply Mr Calder and Mr Behrens. I thought I would finish that book before the end of the month too, but I decided to slow down and savor the stories, as there won’t be more when I finish this book. I will be rereading them later I am sure.

The stories I have read so far are:
  1. "The Twilight of the Gods"
  2. "Emergency Exit"
  3. "One-to-Ten"

I finished up all the stories in Miniatures by John Scalzi. The remaining stories were all very short and very silly. I mainly bought the book because it was illustrated. Some of the earlier stories in the book I enjoyed, these later ones not so much. But I am still a fan of John Scalzi, his novels are just fine.

The stories I read are:
  1. "To Sue the World"
  2. "How I Keep Myself Amused on Long Flights: A Twitter Tale"
  3. "How I Keep Myself Amused on Long Flights: Part II: The Gremlining"
  4. "Life on Earth: Human-Alien Relations"
  5. "Morning Announcements at the Lucas Interspecies School for Troubled Youth"
  6. "Your Smart Appliances Talk About You Behind Your Back"
  7. "The AI are Absolutely Positively Without A Doubt Not Here to End Humanity. Honest."
  8. "Important Holidays on Gronghu"
  9. "Cute Adorable Extortionists"
  10. "Penelope" (poem written in 1991)

Mattaponi Queen is a book of short stories by Belle Boggs, set in Virginia and about life on and around the Mattaponi Indian Reservation. The book is described as a collection of linked stories, but I have not gotten far enough along to notice that yet. I have read the first three stories and liked them all. And what a gorgeous cover!

I read:
  1. “Deer Season”
  2. “Good News for a Hard Time”
  3. “Imperial Chrysanthemum”
I had forgotten how much of Southern culture revolves around hunting (possibly because I grew up in a big city). "Deer Season" was an interesting look at that.


This month I got a copy of Mississippi Noir (ed. Tom Franklin) especially because Megan Abbott's Edgar-nominated short story is in that book, plus the added bonus that I grew up in Alabama, and I have cousins in Mississippi, and visited them and their parents in a small town in Mississippi (Batesville) during my childhood.

All these stories are from the section titled Wayward Youth:
  1. "Uphill" by Mary Miller
  2. "Boy and Girl Games Like Coupling" by Jamie Paige
  3. "Oxford Girl" by Megan Abbott
  4. "Digits" by Michael Kardos
The story by Megan Abbott was very, very good, about a pair of lovers in college, told from both of their points of view. And (another bonus), the setting of the story is set in Oxford, MS, but the female protagonist is from Batesville, which I did not know beforehand.



I also recently found a copy of New Orleans Noir: The Classics, edited by Julie Smith.

I read six stories from that book:
  1. "Rich" by Ellen Gilchrist
  2. "Spats" by Valerie Martin
  3. "The Man With Moon Hands" by O'Neil De Noux
  4. "Rose" by John Biguenet
  5. "Mussolini and the Axeman's Jazz" by Poppy Z. Brite
  6. "GDMFSOB" by Nevada Barr

All were good stories, and very, very noir. I have been curious about O'Neil De Noux, and I was very pleased with his story. "GDMFSOB" was the first thing I have every read by Nevada Barr and it was not at all what I expected.


6 comments:

  1. These fine anthologies make me envious, Tracy. I have been trying to read one short story in office during lunch hour but something or other crops up.

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    1. These are some great anthologies I found, Prashant. I would get too distracted if I tried to read at work, I have to be able to focus when reading.

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  2. What a great variety of stories, Tracy! I'm impressed with the breadth of your reading. And those anthologies do look enticing... Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I was very lucky in the anthologies I picked, Margot. Except for the fact that I don't really get funny science fiction stories, I liked just about every story I read this month.

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  3. The Gilbert book interests me the most from your post, but I don't need anything more on my shelves. I actually managed to finish two short story collections in February as well as enjoying some shorter standalone pieces.

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    1. I know ... neither of us needs more books, Col. And I keep buying them. Good for you, finishing all those stories. I plan to finish off each of these books gradually throughout the year.

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