365 days, 365 short stories – 1/21/18-1/27/18

All-Star Action Heroes #1

I continue to be behind in my 365 challenge, but I’m closing the gap.

I have no recollection of acquiring the anthology Glimpses: The Best Short Stories of Rick Hautala. I learned that I had it while going through my purchased Kindle items and putting short fiction into a collection so that I could easily find short stories for this challenge. It was probably free and I probably got it because the author’s last name is Finnish, and I grew up in an area with a heavy Finnish population. Maybe he was from my neck of the woods? (He wasn’t.)

So knowing nothing about the book nor the author but looking for a change of pace, I read “Schoolhouse,” the first story in collection.

I did not know what I was getting into. Wow. Outside of world-renowned classics, this is the best story I’ve read so far in this young year’s short story challenge. Intense, scary stuff. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this book.

I’ve been on one of my semi-regular Destroyer kicks, so I read two Destroyer short stories–“The Day Remo Died” by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, and “Terminal Philosophy” by Will Murray and Murphy (though likely really just Murray).

“The Day Remo Died” is a great story for Destroyer fans. It originally appeared in The Assassin’s Handbook (AKA Inside Sinanju) and recounts Remo’s origin from Chiun’s perspective. It’s free for Kindle.

“Terminal Philosophy” is a very short and pretty lame Destroyer short story that appeared in All-Star Action Heroes #1, an annual from Starlog publications. I doubt it made any new Destroyer fans. At least the accompanying artwork is cool.

Continuing on Robert E. Howard’s horror stories, I read “The Touch of Death” and “Out of the Deep.”

“The Touch of Death” is a bit Poe-like. “Out of the Deep” is a tale of Faring Town, a seaside locale where strange things happen. Howard set three stories and a poem there–it might be fun if someone else used the setting. This one involves a sort-of sea vampire. Both are solid pieces of Weird Tales-style horror fiction.

I also read “Hoverjack” by Nik Morton as Platen Syder, from Parade magazine, 2/6/1971. A quick and exciting, if juvenile, tale of Cold War espionage. Just the kind of thing I need more of as I try to get caught up on my short story challenge!

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