Thursday, 29 May 2014
Review: The Fredric Brown Megapack: 33 Classic Science Fiction Stories
The Fredric Brown Megapack: 33 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Fredric Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Brown is known as a classic writer of humourous SFF, and these stories provide a cross-section of his work. They range from flash fiction (the equivalent of a single-panel gag cartoon) up to a novella. Not all are funny, but all of them are clever.
Perhaps inevitably, they can be a bit trope-heavy. There are several time travel stories, several alien invasion stories, several interstellar war stories. These were familiar story ideas at the time (as they still are today, among the less imaginative), and Brown puts his own twist on them.
The Megapack edition suffers from less-than-thorough proofreading of the scanned versions, but I'll be sending them my notes, and hopefully they'll fix the next version up. In a couple of stories, Brown "transcribes" English spoken with a heavy German accent, at annoying length in the case of "Star Mouse," and the optical character recognition hasn't dealt well with it, often reading "vell" ("well") as "veil".
There are some beautiful moments (I could have done with more of them). 'The sign on the highway says, “Cherrybell, Pop. 42,” but the sign exaggerates; Pop died last year—Pop Anders, who ran the now-deserted hamburger stand—and the correct figure is 41.' Or this: 'Morning came. It came right after midnight, and it stayed, and it was still there at seven forty-five.'
Overall, an enjoyable collection, and I may eventually pick up the second volume.
View all my reviews