Thursday, October 22, 2009

Great Short Stories Part 10: #91-100

And today I complete the list:

91. "The Whole Town's Sleeping" (1950) by Ray Bradbury. A chilling tale of a woman walking home late at night while a notorious serial killer is on the loose. Very different from Brown's "Don't Look Behind You," but I think both conjure up a terrific fear of the unknown.

"The Whole Town's Sleeping" can be found in Dandelion Wine.

92. "The Fog Horn" (1951) by Ray Bradbury. A wistful story of a fog horn which attracts something from below the ocean - not a monster in search of victims, simply a very lonesome creature.

"The Fog Horn" can be found in The Stories of Ray Bradbury.

93. "Pawley's Peepholes" (1951) by John Wyndham. An amusing time travel story in which time traveling tourists descend upon an English town and become a local nuisance. They have no physical form nor ability to speak, but their appearances become unbearable...until the townsfolk just get used to them.

94. "A Sound of Thunder" (1952) by Ray Bradbury. The be-all end-all of time travel paradox stories! It takes the concept of going back in time to hunt dinosaurs and uses it as a perfect demonstration of paradoxes with simplicity very few science fiction authors have managed.

"A Sound of Thunder" can be found in The Stories of Ray Bradbury.

95. "Over Insurance" (1953) by John Collier. The story of a couple who are terribly in love with each other. So in love are they that they take out insurance on each other, but the premiums are so high that their lives become miserable. The conclusion may be obvious, but Collier gets there with considerable panache and fun dialogue.

"Over Insurance" can be found in Fancies and Goodnights.

96. "The Cold Equations" (1954) by Tom Godwin. A sombre science fiction tale of a woman who stows away aboard a spaceship, not realizing what a grave impact this has on the flight; to set the ship aright, she has to be jettisoned into space!

"The Cold Equations" can be found in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of All Time.

97. "Lamb to the Slaughter" (1954) by Roald Dahl. The famed Dahl story of a woman who uses a frozen leg of lamb as a murder weapon. The best part? You can eat the evidence.

"Lamb to the Slaughter" can be found in Collected Stories. You can read the text online here.

98. "Long Shot" (1972) by Vernor Vinge. A fantastic story told about a ship piloting from Earth to a distant star. However, the mission takes so long to complete that the ship cannot recall what its purpose is!

"Long Shot" can be found in The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge.

99. "The Four-Hour Fugue" (1974) by Alfred Bester. The story of a man with an incomparable sense of smell. Unfortunately, it seems as though certain odors can take possession of him; even he seems unaware of what he does while in a fugue and it seems dead bodies have been turning up...

100. "Prince Delightful and the Flameless Dragon" (1991) by Isaac Asimov. And last to my list, an off-kilter Asimov story where he makes fun of fairy tales. Prince Delightful is a young man possessed of all the graces needed in a hero except coordination. He meets a dragon which cannot breathe fire, leading to a moment tailor made for the paleontologists out there.

No comments: