Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"The X-Rays—There Was Something Inside That Chicken!"

WHILE HE IS BEST KNOWN as a major mystery author (with a minor in impossible crime fiction), Edward D. Hoch over the years also dabbled in science fiction (SF), fantasy, and that cross-dressing subgenre known as science fantasy; although he produced a few novels, it's generally agreed that his best work was always in the short form, with nearly a thousand stories as ample evidence of his prolificity. Below you'll find links to three of his excursions beyond detective fiction (although one does have a scientific detective).

"The Times We Had."
By Edward D. Hoch (1930-2008).
First appearance: Famous Science Fiction, Fall 1967.
Reprinted in The Future Is Ours (2015).
Short short story (5 pages).
Online at (HERE).
"It was a great experience, spending a year on the Moon — one that would never be forgotten . . ."
Turkmen has fond memories of his time in space, so this journalist must be crazy when he says it's all a lie, right?
~ ~ ~
"The Maiden's Sacrifice."
By Edward D. Hoch (1930-2008).
First appearance: Famous Science Fiction, Fall 1968.
Reprinted in 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories (1984) and The Future Is Ours (2015).
Short short short story (3 pages).
Online at (HERE).
"While we're not entirely convinced, this is a nice suggestion . . ."
Could it be that much of history as we know it is actually libel?

Typos: "calender"; "we must built against that day."
~ ~ ~
"The Homesick Chicken."
By Edward D. Hoch (1930-2008).
First appearance: Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Spring 1977.
Reprinted in The Future Is Ours (2015).
Short short story (5 pages).
Online at (HERE).
(Note: Text very faded.)
"Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side, you'd probably answer, echoing an old riddle that was popular in the early years of the last century. But my name is Barnabus Rex, and I have a different answer."
Ordinarily unconfined chickens tend to wander just about anywhere at random, but when Professor Mintor's super-chicken goes for a walk there's nothing random about it . . .

Typo: "left acropss the road"

- You should know a thing or two about Edward D. Hoch after consulting the following online sources: Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), and the ISFDb (HERE).
- A posthumous collection of Hoch's SF is The Future Is Ours: The Collected Science Fiction of Edward D. Hoch (2015), which is reviewed by Paul Di Filippo (HERE) and for sale at Amazon (HERE). The TOC (from the ISFDb HERE):

   Introduction (The Future Is Ours) • (2015) • Essay by Steve Steinbock
   Zoo • (1958)
   The Last Paradox • (1958)
   The Wolfram Hunters • (1964)
   The Times We Had • (1967)
   God of the Playback • (2015)
   Cassidy's Saucer • (1968)
   Unnatural Act • (1969)
   The Boy Who Brought Love • (1974)
   Co-Incidence • (1956)
   Versus • (1957)
   The Future is Ours • (2015)
   The Forbidden Word • (1972)
   Computer Cops • [Computer Investigation Bureau • 1] • (1969)
   Night of the Millennium • (1973)
   The Homesick Chicken • (1977)
   The Daltonic Fireman • (2015)
   The Maze and the Monster • (1963)
   The Faceless Thing • (1963)
   In the Straw • (1975)
   The Thing at the Lake • (2015)
   Exú • (1980)
   The Weekend Magus • (1980)
   Just One More • (1980)
   Bigfish • (1985)
   Remember My Name • (1990)
   The Last Unicorn • (2015)
   Who Rides with Santa Anna? • (1959)
   The Maiden's Sacrifice • (1968)
   The Other Phantom • (1989)
   Dracula 1944 • (1991)

The bottom line: "I don't know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens."
E. B. White

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