Born in Cincinnati, the late Frederic Brown had his first short story published in 1936. Approximately 200 followed. He began with mysteries, segued to sci-fi, then rotated between the genres, and occasionally did poetry and non-fiction. He also wrote more than 50 novels. He was a master of short-shorts, stories one to three pages. Stephen King mentions him in Danse Macabre, his survey of the horror genre since 1950. His work influenced Phillip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein and Umberto Eco, among others. There are 43 titles under his name at IMDb, mostly adaptations of his works, the most famous Arena, Episode 18, Season One of Star Trek, adapted by Gene L. Coon, first aired 1/’67. Five episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and one of Thriller featured adaptations of his stories. Given all that, I’m embarrassed to admit I’d never heard of Brown until a paperback copy of Nightmares and Geezenstacks came my way. Published in 1961, it’s a fun collection of stories, either mystery, speculative or sci-fi, laden with humor, occasionally violent, although less so in that regard than modern works. There are surprises, of course. I particularly liked Nightmare in Yellow, although I saw the twist coming; and Not Yet the End, in which the twist was ingenious and hilarious. The Geezenstacks appear in the final entry. It is the name given by a nine-year-old girl to a family of four dolls. It was adapted by Nancy Doyne for a 1985 episode of Tales from the Darkside. The writing is at once unpretentious and unpolished. Still, it is an easy read, the 182 pages of the Bantam paperback reading like considerably less. 93 users at Amazon have rated the collection, forging to a consensus of 4.4 on a scale of five. Brown passed away at 65 in 1972. I’m glad I finally got to sample his imaginative madness.
I’m no fan of the Marxist in the Vatican, but I like this headline from newsmax.com: “Pope Francis Compares Abortion to ‘Hiring a Hit Man’.”
On the warfront, headline from NM: “Ukraine: Over 36K Russian Forces Killed So Far.” And for what, Vlad?
It looked like the floating book shop was going to see disappointing returns when a late surge provided a big boost. No incoming today, all out going, fortunately. My thanks to the buyers. Here’s what sold: six DVDs, five books and two DVDs in Russian; the massive collected, unabridged works of Jules Verne; and Mama’s Best Desserts: 100 Classic Treats that Taste As Good Now As They Did Then by Andrea Chesman. The biggest surprise of the session was The Quiet Man stringing a bunch of words together. Normally he simply grunts. He heard a woman asking about the signed copy of a book she has. He mentioned first edition. She said people had written in it through the years, so who knows if it has any value. I advised her to Google it.
My Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Vic-Fortezza/e/B002M4NLJE
Read Vic’s Stories, free: http://fictionaut.com/users/vic-fortezza