Book Report: Random Fantasies by Elton Gahr (2016)

Book coverI read Gahr’s Random Realities last October after having bought these (and one or two others) at LibraryCon last year. I said then:

Well, I liked the book.

It’s a collection of science fiction short stories. Some of them are very short indeed–a couple of pages, which means they’re coming it at under 1000 words. So flash fiction. The plots are imaginative, but the execution is a little unsophisticated at times. The prose lacks any flourish, even the flourish of austerity. But, you know what? Who cares? Did I mention the plots are imaginative? And the stories are not woke parables, which I understand is a problem in some modern sci fi.

Well, basically, you could search and replace science fiction and sci fi with fantasy to describe how I feel about this book, although the stories tend to be longer (the last is novella-length). Still, interesting stories, simply told.

The book rather highlighted some difficulties I’ve had in completing fiction in recent years decades–trying, perhaps, for too much sophistication and perfection instead of just telling a story. Also, perhaps I am too focused on the concept or the gimmick and less on the people in the story. I’ve also got a pile of short stories from the olden days; I wonder if I could mind the peaks of my output and produce a collection of short stories for publication. Although since Charles Hill has passed away, I’m not sure anyone would buy it.

But I digress. I rather like Gahr’s work. Other books I have of his are novel-length, one in fantasy and one in science fiction. I will have to delve into them when I get my stack of in-process books down a bit.