I think this week I made up for my lack of “five-story” weeks lately. You’ll only see four sections below, but two of them are sort of doubled up reviews.
One of those is about two stories I read from one of my former professors’ story collections. Funny thing about that book is that I bought it at a book sale that the local library (in my college’s town) held in their basement every Saturday. So I had the book while I was still at college…but I failed to bring it to him to sign. Maybe it’s because I failed his class, or that he was kind of intimidating even if he was pretty cool and knew his shit. Lol. Maybe if I head up there one time in the future, I’ll track him down.
The other doubled up review is from a “rock hard gay erotica” anthology I recently won from a giveaway. It’s not my normal thing to read, but I like trying out new stuff. It’s definitely been interesting reading a few of those stories.
A little bit of a heads up: This is the last A Storied Week post until May. I think I’ll keep doing a weekly “What I’m reading” sort of post on the weekends, but since next week will be ALL POETRY ALL THE TIME (see this post), I’m not doing the short story thing next month. I’ll just talk about poems I enjoyed that week or full collection reviews if that happens. Hope you don’t mind. National Poetry Month is going to be GREAT!
The Lair of Carlo de la Paz, by Joe Marohl
This is one of the few M/M erotica stories I’ve read, so I don’t have much experience evaluating the genre, especially considering it’s about two men wrestling for more reasons than to fight each other.
As a story meant to be erotic, it didn’t have that feel for me. It spent more time describing body hair (multiple times within the pages of this story) than seeming to try to arouse the reader with anything else. But maybe for a more appropriate reader of the genre, this is normal and looked for in a story. I can’t judge it fully being an outsider looking in.
It’ll be interesting to read more stories from the anthology this is in.
Young Zaphod Plays it Safe, by Douglas Adams
I’m a big fan of Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (HHGTTG) trilogy. I enjoy the humor and the ridiculous but well-developed characters and “world” (more like universe). But since I finished reading all 5 (6 counting the Colfer novel) boos in the trilogy and have listened to the entire radio series already, I’ve been missing HHGTTG for a while. It’s been a few years.
So, I opened up The Salmon of Doubt and read this story. It was great to read about Zaphod again, even if he’s the only character of worth in this one. I wouldn’t sam I’m in love with the story, though. Not much happens, yet, it’s full of Adams’ signature approach to humor. In the end, that’s all I need to take away from stories like this. Pure entertainment not found often in my reading.
Warm Milk & The Doctor, by Alan L. Steinberg
These are two, page long stories and I felt that I could say more about them together than I could separately. They both get the reader to look at ourselves differently and about others, as well. I feel that side by side they work well. Warm Milk get s the reader to sympathize with a grandmother dying of cancer, as well as her grandson who feels helpless. The Doctor is almost the opposite. It shows that even doctors are affected by their patients’ deaths, especially when treating them long term, only to be blindsided by a cancer diagnosis.
Fun fact: This author was a professor of mine a few years back. It’s great to finally pick up a few of his stories (I’ve had this book in my collection for a while but haven’t gotten to opening it until now) and try to relate some of what he taught me to them.
Muscle Meeting, by Jeff Jacklin
This is the third “story” I read from the Muscle Men anthology. I used quotes in store because this was a few page long comic. Also I “read” another comic shortly before this one, but there was no text with that one. It was only pictures.
I’ll be honest in saying the one without writing (After Hours by Dale Lazarov) was much better. The visuals were more…um…detailed and told a better story on their own. The writing in this one was…really bad, to put it bluntly. I’ve read some cheesy comics in the past, and this read in a similar way to them. There wasn’t much of interest in the dialogue and it didn’t aid the visuals much. After Hours worked without test. This story may have benefited from taking that approach, as well.
I’ll give another story or two from this anthology a shot, but I may have to put it back on the shelf soon. We’ll see. Might be my first DNF anthology/collection.
Have you read any short stories this week? Do you know of any short stories to suggest to me or my readers? Feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments on this post or more privately through the contact page, if you want you’d like to type something longer up.