Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Short Story Wednesday: Short Story Books from My Husband's Shelves

Today I feature three books of short stories that I plan to be reading from in the next few months. All of them are from my husband's shelves, and he has not read them yet either. 

Night and Fear: A Centenary Collection of Stories by Cornell Woolrich

This collection of 14 previously uncollected stories was published in 2004. The reviews at both Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus said these are not his best stories, but there were good reviews at Goodreads, so I am sure the stories will be worth my time. Edited and with an Introduction by Francis M. Nevins.

Killer, Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury

As noted in the subtitle, this book collects crime stories by Ray Bradbury. Bradbury wrote three crime novels in 1985, 1990, and 2002, but most of his short stories were in other genres. About half of the stories in this book are from the 1940s, and the others are from later decades. This book has a very nice cover and includes illustrations preceding some of the stories. 

There is an introduction by Jonathan R. Eller. At the end, there is an essay by Ray Bradbury that was intended to be an introduction to A Memory of Murder, a collection of crime stories published in 1984. This seems appropriate since a good number of stories that were in A Memory of Murder are in this book. 

Speculative Los Angeles

Edited by Denise Hamilton

Fourteen speculative short stories set in neighborhoods around Los Angeles. The stories are divided into four sections: "Changelings, Ghosts, and Parallel Worlds," "Steampunks, Alchemists, and Memory Artists," "A Tear in the Fabric of Reality" and "Cops and Robots in the Future Ruins of LA." Denise Hamilton was also the editor for Los Angeles Noir and Los Angeles Noir Volume 2: The Classics published by Akashic.

This is reportedly the first book in a new series of speculative fiction anthologies from Akashic Books.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I have read a few Woolrich novels but never the short stories. Also never RB's short crime stories.

George said...

I've read many of Cornell Woolrich's novels and short stories. He was a master of suspense...and coincidence!

Rick Robinson said...

Interesting set of books. Not a fan of Woolrich at all, but the Bradbury might be of interest.

TracyK said...

As far as I can remember, Patti, I haven't read anything by Woolrich. I do have two of his novels in paperback, so assuming that I can read the print, I should read those too.

TracyK said...

Coincidence! That sounds interesting, George. I look forward to trying the Woolrich stories.

Cath said...

Nice selection, the Ray Bradbiry is one I will look into. How is Glen, Tracy?

TracyK said...

I agree, Rick, interesting books and a wide range of types of stories. I am hoping I will enjoy the Bradbury stories.

Jerry House said...

The Bradbury stories tend to be early from his career -- not his best but they have a raw power.

Woolrich is always worth-while. His claustrophobic plots and (hat tip to George!) reliance on coincidence make me avoid binging on too many of his tales at one time, but, boy, could he ratchet up the suspense!

It will be interesting to see if Akashic continues this "speculative" series; their "noir" series has produced some pretty good books.

TracyK said...

Jerry, I have only read a few of Bradbury's stories, and I have had a mixed reaction to those. I look foward to seeing what my experience with these stories will be.

Sadly, I am very late to try anything by Woolrich, but better late than never. I also wonder how the "speculative" fiction series will progress. I have found the noir stories in their anthologies to be a mixed bag, but I am sure that is because we all like different things in our reading.

TracyK said...

Cath, I have been hit or miss at the computer today, so I missed seeing your comment until now.

I thought you might be interested in the Bradbury stories. I really liked the one crime fiction novel by him that I read. It had kind of a fantasy feel.

Glen is doing much better. We both had trouble getting used to the length of time it is going to take to heal, but his mood is better now. He can't do a whole lot with his limited vision, but he gets better every day.

FictionFan said...

I didn't know Ray Bradbury wrote crime - how interesting! I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think of them!

TracyK said...

FictionFan, I will be interested to see what they are like. Of course, since they cover many decades the early ones may be very different from the later ones.

My husband bought the second crime fiction novel that Bradbury wrote (in a series of three) at the last book sale so I hope to read that one this year. It takes place on Halloween in 1954, so if I can remember to time it right I can read it in October.

Sam said...

Your husband and I seem to have a lot in common. Those are exactly the kind of short stories I most enjoy...and I have a bunch of them on my shelves that I haven't read yet. I'll be curious to see what you think of them as you work your way through the collections.

The only Bradbury crime fiction I've read is his 1985 novel "Death Is a Lonely Business," and I remember being underwhelmed by it...but not why. I think I need to take another look at that one to see if I'm more appreciative the second time around.

TracyK said...

Glen does like a wide range of genres, especially in short stories. And he and I both have many books of short stories unread. At least now we get some of them on Kindle, so they don't take up shelf space.

I also read Death Is a Lonely Business, and I liked it a lot at the time. The mystery seemed secondary to me, but I liked the characters. The story was sort of fantasy-like without being overtly in that genre, if I remember correctly.

CLM said...

Glad your husband's recovery is progressing. As his vision improves, short stories may be a good way of keeping him from overusing his eyes! When we gave my mother a Kindle ten or so years ago, it was not to prevent her from reading books but to get her comfortable with technology so she'd be able to read/increase the font if her eyes got bad.

I never knew Ray Bradbury wrote any crime stories! He was so much more versatile than people (not already fans) realized!

Margot Kinberg said...

I'm glad you mentioned Cornell Woolrich here, Tracy. I've read some of his work, but not his short stories. It'd be interesting to try them. And I've liked Bradbury's short stories very much; I'm not a scifi fan as a rule, but I've read a few of his collections.

TracyK said...

Constance, up until recently, Glen had been looking at things on his tablet, but not reading much... even the newspaper, which of course is pretty small print. Last night he tried reading something on his Kindle, and that worked pretty well. Things are looking up.

Bradbury did not write a lot of crime fiction compared to other genres. Writers who started out when he did often wrote for pulp magazines and wrote whatever editors would buy. Not that I am an expert on that subject.

TracyK said...

Margot, I have only read a few of Bradbury's short stories, so this collection will be interesting. Glen has another one, Driving Blind, but I am not sure if it is all fantasy stories or ??? And I have an old paperback of his stories that seems to be a mixed bad, but it has a skeleton on the cover!

I am looking forward to reading short stories by Woolrich. He will be all new to me.