Saturday, October 24, 2020

31 Days of Halloween - Day 24 - Book

Short Things edited by John Gregory Betancourt. Wild side Press. 2019.

This book was created as an added incentive to the successful Kickstarter campaign to publish the recently discovered Frozen Hell, John W. Campbell's novel length version of his influential short story, "Who Goes There?" which was the source material for movies The Thing from Another World (1951), The Thing (1982) and The Thing (2011). It contains thirteen short stories inspired by "Who Goes There?". You can see a list of the authors in the image of the cover above. Marc Hempel, Allen Koszowski, Rainy Virnicid, and Mark Wheatley provided illustrations for the stories, but with the exception of one story which credits Hempel, unless you are familiar with their work, or are lucky to find a signature in the art, you'll have no way of knowing who drew what. Dan Bremerton did the nice cover art.

This short story collection was more of mixed bag than a lot of of anthologies. There were only a couple of stories that were really good. some of them were interesting reads, but ultimately forgettable, and some were just blah. In the end it felt like no one really tried to run with the premise, and most of them felt like predictable variations on theme. One story did go so far outside the box that it felt more like the author had an unpublished story that involved aliens that they said could be used because they didn't have the time to write a new one. I was surprised by how disappointed I was in this given the quality of some of the writers involved, and the source material they had to work from.

The book also suffers from a lot of typos. This seems to be a more and more frequent problem with books, especially from smaller presses. A proofreader was definitely something this book could use.

You can get a story by story breakdown of this book at SF Magazines.

No comments: