Friday, 15 February 2013
Short Stories Or Novels?
Stories can be collected on almost any basis:
(i) a still living author's newest or most recently published stories;
(ii) a representative sample of his stories;
(iii) some editor's idea of his "Best";
(iv) award winners;
(v) stories that have been voted on in some way;
(vi) some publisher's idea for a new collection of old stories;
(vii) stories that form a series;
(viii) thematically related stories on time travel, interstellar travel, alien contact, future warfare etc.
items published under (i) can reappear anywhere under (ii) to (viii);
for at least one sf author, James Blish, there are two versions of his "Best" (iii);
I prefer series (vii);
a single story might appear in more than one theme collection (viii);
theme collections can be "samey";
a critic could read a theme collection in order to assess how each of the stories addresses their common theme;
however, following my own line of least resistance, I am likely to continue rereading Anderson's novels for a while longer.
I have almost come to the end of his series. (I am not much interested in "Hoka.") A while back, I did comment on four "past" short stories, two prehistorical and two historical, because I imagined these as being collected together in some future Complete Works edition.