AFTERSHOCK & OTHERS: 19 ODDITIES
by F. Paul Wilson
I'm knee deep in my new secret project (which is going great now that I'm getting over my nervousness at even being involved with this character), so there hasn't been a lot of free time to keep up with my reading.
Still, couldn't pass up F. Paul Wilson's latest collection of short stories. Sadly, he says it will be his last, which is a shame. I love his short stories. Maybe not as much as his Repairman Jack novels, or the other books in his Adversary Cycle, but it's a little like deciding who your favorite Doctor Who is. I like them all for different reasons.
And I'm one of those annoying readers who loves reading about the stories -- where they came from, how he got them published, and all that. Luckily, FPW does his usual in-depth job of detailing the background for each of the stories in this collection and what was going on in his career when he wrote them. He even takes a swipe at the people who have told him they like these little bonus essays as much as his stories. Yeah, I'm probably one of those people. What can I say? I find the back story to the story absolutely fascinating.
(I even scored a mention in his rundown for 2004. Took me completely by surprise while I was reading. As such a big fan of Paul's work, it's a not-so-secret thrill to be mentioned in one of his books. Almost as cool as having gotten a chance to work with him.)
I've read a lot of the stories in this collection before (in the various anthologies where they originally appeared... told you I was a fan), but there's enough new here to have me pretty excited. The title story, "Aftershock", is a real standout, as is "Sole Custody". There's even a Repairman Jack short story I hadn't read, "Interlude at Duane's".
Of course, even if I'd read ALL of the stories before, I'd still pick up this collection. For the bonus essays, of course. Sorry, Paul. They're just really interesting.