Anyone read any Fredric Brown?

Discussion in 'Classic SF&F' started by dlsevern, Jan 23, 2012.

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    dlsevern

    dlsevern Science fiction fantasy

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    I just recently purchased a couple of Fredric Brown's short story collections, Honeymoon in Hell and Space on my Hands, for a couple of bucks each. I have never read him before but they look like they may be in the same vein as Lovecraft or Bradbury and the covers were irresistible so I had to buy them. Has anyone every read any of his works and if so, what did you think?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
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    J-Sun

    J-Sun Active Member

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    Mm. I don't get Lovecraft or Bradbury at all. I've read Martians Go Home, What Mad Universe, and at least a couple of collections (The Best of, Nightmares and Geezenstacks) before superseding them with his complete short fiction (From These Ashes, but I haven't read it yet). Martians is a pretty decent kind of satirical take on a Martian invasion and What Mad Universe is a brilliant, surreal, wild ride I can't even describe. It nominally riffs on fandom in, again, a satirical way, but so transcends that that it becomes something else - genuinely freaky in places along with sometimes being funny. The stories - well, they are often very short, often very funny, often very satirical, too, but of some variety, too. Everything from the best shortest story ever, probably, in "Knock", to the basis of a great Star Trek episode with the great "Arena" to an extremely whimsical and enjoyable story about Mitkey Astromouse in "The Star Mouse". Given the number and range of his stories, perhaps something in his writing his Lovecraftish or Bradburyish, though - just can't think of anything.

    Either way, I'd recommend him and I hope you enjoy what you got. :)
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    dlsevern

    dlsevern Science fiction fantasy

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    That was just the impression that I got from what it says on the back of the books and the covers, they may not be anything like Lovecraft or Bradbury. I wish I could find a picture of the covers that I have, I know they were published by Bantam Books.
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    J-Sun

    J-Sun Active Member

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    Space on My Hands
    Honeymoon in Hell

    These them? Maybe N entirely SFW. :) They are striking.

    Yeah, he may be more than I think or they could just be covers and blurbs intended to sell.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    Well I could see how those covers could put you in mind of either Lovecraft or Bradbury. Especially the second one: "Stories that begin where sanity leaves off." I like that :)
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    dlsevern

    dlsevern Science fiction fantasy

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    Those are the ones! Very Lovecraftian don't you think
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    J-Sun

    J-Sun Active Member

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    I suppose so - I haven't read enough Lovecraft to know for sure but I picture most of his critters as being quite a bit uglier. :D
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    dlsevern

    dlsevern Science fiction fantasy

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    Good point, lol.
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    CyBeR

    CyBeR New Member

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    Paradox Lost...was so very very good. I don't think there's one story in that collection that I did not enjoy.
    I should definitely read more of these old authors.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Fred Brown wrote quite a wide variety of types of story, so such an an assumption isn't all that far wrong... but it is a bit inaccurate. Much of his sf, for instance, has a humorous or gallows-humor bent, while others are fairly straightforward and quite grim ("Arena", for instance). He also wrote mysteries, many of which are apparently quite good (I've not read them myself, but I've known plent of people who have, and whose opinions I would trust).

    He also wrote a certain amount of horror or horror-fantasy, some of which might almost be called Lovecraftian, in a sense. "Come and Go Mad" is somewhat of that type and was, if I recall correctly, originally published in Weird Tales.

    The connection to Bradbury I have a bit more trouble with, save that each used the sf tropes for their metaphoric value, in order to address this or that aspect of the human condition; but the approach is otherwise quite different....

    Still, Brown is well worth investigating....
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    dlsevern

    dlsevern Science fiction fantasy

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    Well, regardless of whether he is similar to Lovecraft or not, it seems like I may have found a couple of winners. Thanks for your comments.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    dlsevern

    dlsevern Science fiction fantasy

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    I don't know, for some reason I thought of Bradbury and Lovecraft or a combo of both, lol.
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    merritt

    merritt olaf capek

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    the lights in the sky are stars - (pretty sure I got that right) if I remember title correctly was a great read.
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    Jeffbert

    Jeffbert New Member

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    i HAVE a copy of FROM THESE ASHES, COMPLETE SHORT SF FROM FREDERIC BROWN. I just finished my 2nd or 3rd reading of ARENA, & noted how the Roller's description seems very much like Mr. Spock's description of the natural shape of the aliens from the Kelvan Empire who conquered them in episode #51 By Any Other Name.:D Not only that, but in ARENA, there is a barrier that most TV SF versions omit, BUCK RODGERS in the 25th century also omitted in in its own apparent version of the story, but used the barrier in a later one. I found a web page all about ARENA & most of the TV SF shows' episodes based on it. I think the page was titled MY ARENA OR YOURS? So, I watched as many as I could find on NFlix.

    I remember one of Brown's stories was about a mouse that somehow had gained human-like intelligence; and another one was about a little boy who filled his water pistol with HOLY WATER.

    bUT MY POOR BOOK, BOUGHT USED FROM AN AMAZON seller, is falling apart! :mad:
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    steve12553

    steve12553 The Enigma of Steel

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    Over the years, in various collections, I have also read these two and, of course, Arena. When reading some of the Philip K. Dick short stories many years later, I was had the impression of similarities. (More the irony rather than the humor) I try not to pass up a Frederic Brown story when I come across one.
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    VideoChrist

    VideoChrist Science fiction fantasy

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    "Martians, Go Home!"
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    dlsevern

    dlsevern Science fiction fantasy

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    Was it any good?
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    VideoChrist

    VideoChrist Science fiction fantasy

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    Justifiable homicide, summa cum laude, dude!
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    BigBadBob141

    BigBadBob141 New Member

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    First class SF writer, both his novels and short stories.
    But he was also a great crime writer, try "Night Of The Jabbawock".

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