Thursday, June 19, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #13

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

A Collection of Collections - Fiction, by One Author

Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, Kurt Vonnegut

Famous for Slaughterhouse-Five and other novels, this book is a collection of short stories Vonnegut submitted to magazines like Cosmopolitan and Playboy in the 1950s. Some of them are gems - like "Runaways" and "Hal Irwin's Magic Lamp" - all of them are worth reading!

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions, Neil Gaiman (see also: Angels and Visitations, Fragile Things)

It's no surprise that the writer of this blog loves Neil Gaiman. Smoke and Mirrors is not his first collection (that honor falls to Angels and Visitations), but it is a great step into Gaiman's amazing works. Try "Chivalry" first, and make sure to read "Murder Mysteries," which was first recorded in audio and later made into a graphic novel with art by P. Craig Russell.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie

Usually a must on any college American Literature list, these are short stories about how the traditions of Native Americans on the Coeur D’Alene Indian Reservation in Washington mesh (or don’t) with pictures of modern American life. Some sad, some funny, if you haven’t read it, try “The Approximate Size of My Favorite Tumor” or “Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock.”

Mother Aegypt and other Stories, Kage Baker and Mike Dringenberg

Baker, a Nebula award nominee presents the reader with thirteen stories of strange delights and desires in Mother Aegypt. Each is fascinating in its own way, odd, and each takes a twisting turn away from what you’d expect.

The Golden Apples of the Sun, Ray Bradbury

Bradbury, considered by many to be a master of science fiction (he wrote Fahrenheit 451 in 1953), was the author of more than 500 short stories. This is just one collection, which includes tales of murder and silence, of far-off planets and weird weather.

Second Variety, Philip K. Dick (see also: The Minority Report, The Eye of the Sibyl)

Best known for “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” the book that the movie Blade Runner was based off of, Dick was also a writer of many short stories that have experienced a new renaissance with the movie “Minority Report” being released in theaters in 2002. Second Variety is the third collection of stories by this prolific science fiction author, and the stories here are meant to make the reader think and challenge themselves about tough subjects, like the battle between man and technology.

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