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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Old Stories
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 10:32:29 

on 4/27/01 3:42 PM, Alex David Groce at Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu

> Hey, how hard should I try to track down "Try and Kill It."  Nov. 96
> Asimov's, someone recently compared this to "The Ziggurat*" and
> claimed it was Wolfe in Faulkner territory in conversation; a quick
> net search reveals it was preliminary Nebula balloted that year, but
> wasn't in _Strange Travelers_ or reprinted elsewhere.  Anyone on the
> list read it and think it was top-flight Wolfe?

You post inspired me to reread the story.  While I liked it better the
second time, I wouldn't call it top-flight Wolfe.  I didn't much care for
"The Ziggurat," actually, but "Try and Kill It" is much shorter (nineteen
pages) and less thematically rich as far as I can tell.  The protagonist is
one of Wolfe's capable, manly men, which is probably my least favorite
Wolfean type, although he's probably the most tolerable example of this type
I've read.  (If you are morally opposed to hunting, you probably won't like
this story.)  As far as Faulkner goes, it's not like any Faulkner I've read,
which doesn't include the short stories; I suspect the perceived resemblance
lies in the fact that it's about a man hunting an extraordinary bear.
Wolfe's style is very good, but if there's more to the story than a
well-written adventure story, I don't see it.

Incidentally, the issue in which "Try and Kill It" appeared has other items
of interest besides Wolfe, most notably a novella by Gardner Dozois and
Michael Swanwick.  The bulk of it was written by Dozois (in the 60s), and my
memory is that it's very good.  It also contains Bruce Sterling's "Bicycle
Repairman, and a Nancy Kress novelette, if you're a Kress fan.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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