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What Short Story Are You Reading?

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  • Started 8 months ago by Ron

  1. Ron

    Usually a thread is created for discussion of an issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

    Digdug created and posts to a thread for short fiction from other genre magazines.

    This thread is for discussion of short stories from other sources, from short story collections to self published stories online.

    Here I will start with _The Other Place, and Other Stories of the Same Sort_
    by J.B. Priestley.

    The Other Place, and Other Stories of the Same Sort is a collection of speculative short stories. I have been on the lookout for Uncanny short fiction--it is one of my reading interests--and I am now delighted to add J.B. Priestley to my list of favorite authors of that type of story. Others in that school are Robert Aickman and Daphne du Maurier. Also, I think that some of the stories in this book would make good episodes of a revived Twilight Zone.

    One theme in the book is the contrast between current reality, which can be disagreeable, to another place and time where happiness is maximized.

    The book starts out strong. In the first story, "The Other Place" the British narrator meets a Canadian
    who has been looking for a special place. The Canadian had stayed in a dismal town where he met a Sir Alaric Foden who showed him a way to enter an alternate (and wonderful) version of the town. The Canadian also found love in this alternate reality. The Canadian got sent back to the current reality and is no longer able to use Sir Alaric Foden's method. 5 stars

    "The Grey Ones" A patient discusses with his psychiatrist his belief that there are aliens on Earth, disguised as humans, who seek to make humans impersonal. As a reader of science fiction, I saw where this story was heading. 4 stars

    "Uncle Phil on TV". The story takes place when TV was becoming a mass phenomenon. A family receives a small inheritance which they use to buy a TV. The deceased uncle Phil appears in TV programs, directly addressing family members. Creepy and humorous too. 4.5 stars

    "Guest of Honor" Sir Bernard Clipter is on his way to a social gathering when his car almost hits a man who gives a strange warning. At the social gathering, Sir Clipter sees the other attendees transformed into creepy creatures, both in appearance and action. The story has a 'twist' ending. 4.5 stars

    "Looking After The Strange Girl" is a time slip story. The narrator had gone back in time. The narrator knows the fates of the people he is interacting with. He then comes back to the current time, an interacts with a woman he had interacted with back then. 3 stars

    In "The Statues" the protagonist is a journalist who see incredibly large statues which no one else sees, and which disappears. These statues come from the future into the present. This experience has a bad effect on the protagonist. 3 stars

    "The Leadington Incident" has a similar plot structure to the previous story "Guest of Honor". Because of that, I'm giving this story 3.5 stars

    "Mr. Strenberry's Tale" The narrator meets Mr. Strenberry, who others think is a strange guy. Mr. Strenberry says he saw, through what seems to have a been time portal, the end of the human race. The human race is destroyed by what I take to be a machine. Mr. Strenberry also saw a person from that time attempting to escape by going back in time. 3 stars

    In "Night Sequence", Betty and Luke are a couple who have been unhappy with each other for some time and who had their car go into a ditch. They seek shelter from the bad weather, and are welcomed into a near by house, where they change into old fashioned clothes, and meet Sir Edward and his niece Julia. Betty and Sir Edward fall in love, and Luke and Julia fall in love. A time slip romance with an ending I didn't expect. 3.5 stars.

    My ratings average out 3.77, thus rounding up to 4 stars.

    Posted 8 months ago #

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