Story Collections Community Read-Along April 2013

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Story Collections Community Read-Along April 2013

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Editado: Abr 1, 2013, 12:07 am

Here we are four months in to 2013, a fact that startles me no little bit. This is the place to let the group know what collections have caught your eye and are now on the nightstand/book table/Kindle awaiting your attention. We'd love to hear what you thought about them after you're finished reading, too.

For me, it's a chunkster of silliness that calls to me this month: The Complete John Thunstone. Manley Wade Wellman was a figure from the past when I was a borning sci-fi-ist. I found his first novel featuring Thunstone in the 1980s and never found the stories anywhere. Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

Yikes! Blast from the past and one I'd completely forgotten about! Then the book description sealed my doom, the book HAD to be mine:

Conceived by Manly Wade Wellman and Weird Tales editor Dorothy McIlwraith in 1943, John Thunstone is a scholar and playboy who investigates mysterious supernatural events. Large and strong, intelligent, handsome, and wealthy, he has the typical attributes of a heroic character. He is also well-read in occult matters and has access to weapons (such as a sword-cane forged by a saint) that are especially potent against vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. In addition to the ghosts and other traditional supernatural beings, several of Thunstone’s enemies are Wellman’s unique creations. Particularly compelling are the the enigmatic shonokins, a race of human-like creatures who claim to have ruled North America before the coming of humans. Thunstone’s most persistent foe is the diabolical sorcerer Rowley Thorne, a character loosely based on the real occultist Aleister Crowley. Thunstone originally appeared in short stories published in Weird Tales from 1943 to 1951 with a final short story in 1982. Wellman would later write two novels featuring Thunstone: What Dreams May Come (1983) and The School of Darkness (1985).

Oh my heck. So eager for this read!

Mar 31, 2013, 11:56 pm

I'm on this thread a lot!

Abr 1, 2013, 12:08 am

Very glad to hear it! Happy April Showers.

Abr 1, 2013, 7:16 am

No one was ever really named Manly Wade Wellman, surely. It's not even hardly pronounceable.

Abr 1, 2013, 7:48 am

I think better than the description and name even, is the illustration! Ha, what a find, Richard! Thanks for kicking off another great month of short storying!

I am half-way into the outstanding collection Black American Short Stories: A Century of the Best edited by John Henrick Clarke. I already have a feeling my only complaint will be that the "century" seems to end at 1990 (due to publication and re-publication dates), so it would be just awesome to see what Clarke would have chosen for that final decade.

Abr 1, 2013, 7:58 am

Somehow I missed the entire March thread! I did read a collection of short stories that I really enjoyed: The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes by Tess Uriza Holthe. The stories are connected by the train in the title that runs from Italy to France, and although most of them are somewhat sad, they are also hopeful and beautifully written. I checked this book out from the library, but I am really thinking about purchasing my own copy because already I would like to read it again.

Abr 1, 2013, 8:38 am

Carolyn, I highly recommend Doerr's Memory Wall.

Abr 1, 2013, 9:52 am

Manly Wade Wellman (1903 – 1986) was an American writer. While his science fiction and fantasy stories appeared in such pulps as Astounding Stories, Startling Stories, Unknown and Strange Stories, he is best remembered as one of the most popular contributors to the legendary Weird Tales, and for his fantasy and horror stories set in the Appalachian Mountains, which draw on the native folklore of that region. Wellman also wrote in a wide variety of other genres, including historical fiction, detective fiction, western fiction, juvenile fiction, and non-fiction. Karl Edward Wagner referred to him as "the dean of fantasy writers".

Wellman was a long-time resident of North Carolina. He received many awards, including the World Fantasy Award and Edgar Allan Poe Award.

Three of Wellman's most famous reappearing protagonists are Silver John, aka John the Balladeer, the wandering backwoods minstrel with a silver-stringed guitar; the elderly 'occult detective' Judge Pursuivant; and John Thunstone, also an occult investigator.

To make it even better, he was born in Angola and adopted as the son of a powerful local leader after his daddy the doctor cured the man's cataracts. The guy was a walking pulp story from birth!

Abr 1, 2013, 6:36 pm

Thank you #7/Alphaorder! My library system has it! Yahoo!

Abr 1, 2013, 7:46 pm

Anyone who was motivated by Carolyn's review of The Shell Collector's, should know it's available this month as a Kindle book for $2.99.

Abr 3, 2013, 2:56 am

I have just finished a short collection by Colum McCann, Everything In This Country Must, very moving.

I have just read one of a collection Great Canadian Short Stories, The Painted Door by Sinclair Ross, the closing line left me gobsmacked, it would be the best short story that I have ever read.

Abr 3, 2013, 7:22 am

I read and reviewed the uncorrected proof of All My Friends, the upcoming short story collection by the French-Senegalese author Marie NDiaye.

Abr 3, 2013, 8:52 am

On Monday I finished I am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson. I loved the ideas of all the stories, but the plot and writing were not my cup of tea at all.

Abr 5, 2013, 7:24 pm

I am on a mini five-star roll, just finished and reviewed the absolutely outstanding Black American Short Stories: A Century of the Best edited by John Henrik Clarke. How this book (and many of the writers within) has/have been virtually left behind in literary America is beyond me.

Now I'm going to have a novel-esque interlude and come back here in a bit!

Editado: Abr 11, 2013, 9:36 am

I am reading Glimmer Train Winter Issue #85 (having Touchstone trouble) cover to cover, to discover some new short story authors ... so far, very, very good!

Abr 11, 2013, 5:23 pm

>15 CarolynSchroeder:

Glimmer Train tends to be very good in most cases :)

Editado: Abr 14, 2013, 6:03 pm

Finally finished Man's Work, by John Connelly, which I started back in January. In between moving and finding a new job I'd had little reading time! My review is here on LT.

Now starting Kentucky Straight.

Abr 14, 2013, 6:35 pm

My husband read and loved Kentucky Straight. Still on my mount TBR.

Editado: Abr 15, 2013, 8:24 am

I finished Glimmer Train #85 and save one story, I really thought the rest were outstanding. I was able to upload a cover and pop up a review! I just bought the Spring issue!

Abr 20, 2013, 10:13 pm

I am reading Hush, Hush by Steven Barthelme and so far, a bit weird ... but whether it is good weird or bad weird, I need to read a few more stories before I report in.

Abr 21, 2013, 1:17 am

Finished Kentucky Straight today. Enjoyed Offutt's voice. My review is on LT.

Starting Final Vinyl Days.

Abr 21, 2013, 5:43 pm

Finally got back to my short stories, Best American Mystery Stories 2011, just got a little waylaid in a novel, but pleased to be back as I am enjoying them immensely.

Abr 22, 2013, 10:36 am

Read Lily Tuck's forthcoming The House at Belle Fontaine. I LOVED her novel I Married You for Happiness, so I had high expectations. It was good, but not overwhelmed. I think this PW review does it justice:

Abr 23, 2013, 8:31 am

I finished an popped up a review of Hush Hush: Stories by Steven Barthleme and have Kentucky Straight and a few other collections downloaded to the Paperwhite, as I embark on the Big Sur Marathon and subsequent days of exploration in the Big Sur, Carmel and San Francisco areas!

Abr 24, 2013, 8:26 pm

Oh did I bite off more than I could possibly chew! There is no conceivable way I'll finish The Complete John Thunstone this month. Maybe I can whip through the last stories in An Elegy for Easterly, which is wonderful, but bleak.

Carolyn, liked your Hush Hush: Stories review!

Abr 24, 2013, 10:03 pm

Thanks RD!

Abr 30, 2013, 12:13 am

Finished Best American Mystery Stories 2011. Good stuff. I don't have another short story selection on hand at the moment so will have a catch up later.

Abr 30, 2013, 7:26 am

Whew what a bust of an April for me! I got so wound up and bound up in the move to a blog from Goodreads that I never made much headway in The Complete John Thunstone. None of my other collections grabbed me, either. Drat!

Well, there's always May! Thread is up a little early.