Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On The Nightstand

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.


Ellen said...

I can't wait to read it over the weekend!

matthew dow smith said...

You're going to love it, Ellen. Though I suspect, like me, you've read a lot of this stories in other places. You're the only person I know (other than FPW himself, of course) who's more up on what he's written than I am.


ksteele said...

Thanks for the tip. I'm gonna pick this one up today. I should finish The Keep today.

matthew dow smith said...

You should definitely check it out, Kyle. Though I should give you a hard time for not reading THE KEEP until now. And you call yourself a horror writer...

Actually, for those of you reading this who AREN'T Kyle Steele... he's a really good horror writer, despite the fact that he hasn't read THE KEEP until now.

Just don't tell him. I don't want his head to swell any larger than it is now.


ksteele said... least I finished Cell! The weird thing about The Keep is that it's been on my bookshelf for years. I had forgotten about it until you mentioned it in your blog.

I'm headed out to by a larger hat to cover my now inflated ego...

matthew dow smith said...

Better be a gig hat...

And I've got a few books like that. There's a stack of Charles de Lint books I picked up years ago, but put off reading until I finished the FADE novel. I've put off reading THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, as well. Don't want any accidental cross-pollination.

matthew dow smith said...

Yeah... I meant BIG hat.

Not sure what a GIG hat is, but I'm guessing it's the kind of cool hip-cat hat I would wear when I was still playing in jazz bands back in high school.

Still not sure how I didn't get beaten up more.


Ellen said...

Have to wait another week due to a death in the family, but I'm very excited.

At least I haven't gotten to this point yet:

All I can say is "Wow".