FIND in
<--prev V304 next-->
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 08:51:46 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) Short Story collections
From: Adam Stephanides 

Going back to Terry's original question, on 4/14/03 8:43 AM, Terry Lago at
tlago@chass.utoronto.ca wrote:

> Can any of you enlighten me about the various short story collections of
> Wolfe? How would you rank them and which ones have overlap in content? I was
> looking for _Castle of Days_ recently and stumbled upon _Endangered
> Species_, and I imagine I should have just picked it up, but didn't know
> what would be inside (of course that's part of the pleasure of a Wolfe book
> I guess, right?)
> Can any of you enlighten me?
> (I guess the reason I'm wary is because I generally don't like short
> stories. I usually prefer novels and there are only a handful of authors
> whose short fiction I enjoy...though I would be surprised if Wolfe didn't
> also turn out to be one of these. Still...I always hum and ha before picking
> up a short story collection.)

Confining myself to the five major-publisher collections, which are _The
Island of Dr. Death..._, _Castle of Days_, _Endangered Species_, _Storeys
from the Old Hotel_, and _Strange Travellers_ (_Gene Wolfe's Book of Days_
is completely reprinted in _Castle_), I'd say the first of these has several
essential stories, the second has one essential story ("Forlesen") and a
great deal of filler, and the others don't have any essential stories,
though there's certainly a lot of enjoyment to be gained from them.  I'd
definitely start with _Island_, which every Wolfe fan should have read (it's
the material collected here, along with 5HC, that originally brought Wolfe
to prominence).  After that it doesn't much matter, although _Strange
Travellers_ is probably the most solid of the remaining collections, in the
sense of having the fewest throwaway stories.  And none of these five
overlap at all, iirc.

Several small-press collections have appeared, though I don't know if any
are still in print.  The only one of these I've seen is _Bibliomania_, which
is fun, but lightweight, and should definitely come after the five
collections above.

Hope this helps,



<--prev V304 next-->