Loved the stories. And some of them could end up reality someday like Lipidlegging, where the government bans real eggs and real butter because they are unhealthy.
A collection of short stories by Wilson - a new author for me. Most of the stories were horror, many with a sci-fi bent.
The book was a quick read, but I didn't like it enough to go out and look for anything else by the author. The writing is competent, in a mainstream-fiction sort of way, and there are a few good ideas, but nothing really out of the ordinary. (And a few things that I disagreed with, philosophically.)
The stories are:
The Cleaning Machine - A schizophrenic woman explains to the police what exactly happened to all of her missing neighbors.
Ratman - An interplanetary exterminator specializes in dealing with pesky "space rats."
Lipidleggin' - In the future, after unhealthy foods are legally banned, bootleggers provide fresh butter and eggs. In the introduction, Wilson goes on about how the concept of a National Health Plan is "fascist" and would bankrupt the country. Odd, and a bit peculiar, until I realized that Wilson is (was?) a medical doctor with a private practice. Yeah, doctors know which side their bread is buttered on. (ha ha) However, the way I see it, it's a nearly criminally selfish attitude.
To Fill the Sea and Air - Set on a far planet, the only habitat of a fish prized for its tasty filets throughout the galaxy. One fisherman seems to always catch the most of the delicacy - and a giant corporation wants to ferret out his secrets.
Green Winter - In the far future, photosynthesizing humans believe themselves far superior to mere animals, who lack the ability to take sustenance from the sun - when tasty game meat isn't available.
Be Fruitful and Multiply - In the future, the government has been taken over by fundies who believe that god will sweep them up into a higher plane of existence as soon as they have increased the population to the limit of what Earth can support (wait, this is supposed to be fiction? tongue.gif ). Clever ending - I laughed.
Soft - In the future, a nasty plague that melts people's bones has nearly wiped out humanity.
The Last "One Mo'Once Golden Oldies Revival" - A ruthless record producer gets what's coming to him.
The Years the Music Died - A conservative conspiracy was behind the downfall of some of rock-n-roll's first stars.
Dat-Tay-Vao - A junior mafioso, drafted into Vietnam, runs across one of those Mystical Ancient Secrets of healing that old Asian sages so often seem to know... not bad, actually.
Doc Johnson - very Lovecraftian (but not as good). A new doctor in town learns that his new town of Greystone Bay has some weird secrets - and that people here take care of things their own way.
Buckets - Had the potential to be an acceptable horror story, but slipped into mere propaganda, when the author started putting the cliched words of every typical right-to-lifer into the mouths of the ghosts of aborted babies. Doesn't engage a debate, just sets up straw men to knock down. Surprised it ever got published.
Traps - There's something horrible in the attic of the nice family who are just planning their happy trip to Disneyland... ho-hum.
Muscles - An ex-stripper reappears in Times Square after being attacked a couple of years ago. Now she's a female bodybuilder. But why does she need all those muscles? I actually liked this one quite a bit - didn't see the end coming quite the way it did.
Menage a Trois - A creepy, deformed old lady invites attractive young folk to work in her house (a spooky gothic mansion, of course). But what is her real motivation?
Cuts - An author does evil voodoo on the movie producer that he feels ruined his novel. Blah. (Of course, Wilson hated the movie that was made from his book, The Keep.)
16 stories, all very good! Reminds me of the Twilight Zone series.
Excellent book.... each story comes with a one-page introduction about how he got the idea for the story, which I found really fascinating. If you like F. Paul Wilson, you'll really enjoy this book of early shorts.
F. Paul Wilson never ceases to amaze me and he has done so again with this short story anthology of some of his writings that I have never read before. Usually when reading anthologies I find one or two stories that I just don't like, but not with this one. Every story was fantastic Before every story he writes an introduction of how he came to write the story which was quite interesting in its own right! I would have to say my favorite story was one called "Dat-Tay-Vao" which was set in Viet Nam. Basically a story of a very self centered, selfish man turned good....but just a tad too late as you will see! Don't want to reveal too much so I will just end here saying you won't be disappointed if you order this book! HAPPY READING TO ALL!