Friday, July 15, 2011

Booknote: The Compleat Boucher: 12 Books, 12 Months, Book 8

I am very slowly catching up on my reading. I still have until September to finish up, so I have faith I will get there. I just finished this (ok, finished it last night). It was, like the 7th book I read for the challenge, a big anthology, so it took me some time. However, this is very different than the previous book I read for the challenge. The Ultramarines Omnibus was pretty much a fun, light read for the most part. This book is a bit more serious. I mean that as in "this is a serious book" tone (not that light or serious are necessarily bad things. I enjoy both kinds of books, but I think using the labels may help some readers out there). But I will say that if you want to read good, classic science fiction, with some fantasy and even some sprinklings of other genres, then you want to pick up this volume. As I mentioned in my short review for GoodReads, I felt like I was reading science fiction as it was written when it was in the heyday of the mid-20th century. I really think readers who enjoy classic science fiction, yes, going back to the pulps, will definitely enjoy this. However, do not let the "pulp" label deceive you. There are some very good, well thought-out and substantial stories in this collection. I had no idea before reading this that Boucher could be as versatile as he was. Very cool book I will likely be revisiting.

The review, as I posted it on my GoodReads profile:

The Compleat Boucher: The Complete Short Science Fiction & Fantasy of Anthony BoucherThe Compleat Boucher: The Complete Short Science Fiction & Fantasy of Anthony Boucher by Anthony Boucher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another case of a big collection that took me a while to get through. I have been reading it on and off for a few months, which is something I often do with long anthologies like this. Having said that, this is a fine example of a science fiction classic. This volume collects the science fiction and fantasy short fiction of Anthony Boucher, who was not only a writer but also a prominent editor of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine. The collection contains very short stories (two or three pages) and longer pieces that range from light humor fantasy to science fiction to even a little noir and pulp. This is a book to enjoy nice and slow (I rushed through it a bit at the end to catch up on the 12 Books, 12 Months Challenge I am doing. I do not recommend this. This book really deserves to be savored). One of the stories I liked was "The Compleat Werewolf," which is about a professor with a bit of a lycanthropy problem and a femme fatale more than willing to exploit that little problem. I think a strength of this book, as well as other books that NESFA has published, is that it will take you back to the golden days of science fiction. In a way, when folks say "they don't write them like this anymore," this is what they mean. And for me, I know there are some stories I will want to revisit at some point.

View all my reviews

On a final note,Latter Day Bohemian has posted an update of the challenge for Months 9 and 10. My, where has the time gone? I did not get featured in that post, since I ran behind, but I hope to make my last hurrah in the next update. In the meantime, go see what other participants have read.

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