Shatterday

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Author: Harlan Ellison
Publisher: Tachyon Publications (2007)
Binding: Paperback, 318 pages

Shatterday by Harlan Ellison – 3 out of 5.

This is a collection of 16 short stories ranging from 5 to 60 pages in length (well 60 pages is probably a novella or novelette). Over all I enjoyed it. I'm not really very used to reading short stories, as I'm more a novel person, but it made for a nice change. I'm certainly interested in trying more shorts - I have Dangerous Visions (edited by Harlan) ready & waiting too.

I especially enjoyed the stories “Jeffty is Five” (an intriguing, creepy & at times moving story), “How's the Night Life on Cissalda” (although not my favourite, probably the one I remember best of the lot), “The Man Who was Heavily into Revenge”, “In the Forth Year of the War”, “The Executioner of the Malformed Children” (one that I would have liked to be longer, pleanty of scope of a full book here) & “Shatterday” (made into a famous Twilight Zone episode).

I was less keen on the stories “Flop Sweat” (felt rushed), “Would you do it for a Penny”, “All the Lies that are my Life” (the 60 page one, had great potential, but didn't come to very much), “Django” (I didn't get this one), “All the Birds Come Home to Roost”, “Opium” (the 5 page one, I didn't get this one either, was it all stuff that happens on drugs?) & “The Other Eye of Polyphemus”..

I think it's probably in the nature of an anthology to be a little hit & miss & that's how I found Shatterday. Maybe in the ones I wasn't so keen on were the ones I was missing the point of, I just didn't get what some of the stories were trying to be, maybe that's more my failing than the authors.

Relating them to TV shows I could say this collection in part Twilight Zone, part Tales of the Unexpected, with a dash of The Outer Limits & Creep Show thrown in too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shatterday_(book)