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1.19.2012

The Ultimate Anthology: "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut"


Any solid speculative anthology should contain a tale or two by Stephen King. "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" takes one of those slots in my collection.

What's not to like about a sprite of a feisty woman whose obsession with shortcuts takes her into an age-reversing alternate dimension? That narrative voice, a first-person piece told through the eyes of an older caretaker, is just quintesessntially King. At times humorous and horrific, and always atmospheric and unsettling, this is one of his finest.

I think that description of the ghastly frog the size of a large dog is one of my favorites in weird fiction (saw a Colorado River Toad at the zoo this past weekend--that sucker was a monster!)...

To date:

"Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" ~ Stephen King

"Voluntary Committal" ~ Joe Hill

"The Pear Shaped Man" ~ George R.R. Martin

"The Small Assassin" ~ Ray Bradbury

"Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros" ~ Peter S. Beagle

3 comments:

James Everington said...

Oh excellent, an imaginary anthology! I'm always making up these kind of lists and make-believe anthologies in my head.

Some great choices so far - I've read three of the five. You obviously have good taste so I'll look up the others...!

Aaron Polson said...

This is shaping into a special, special collection. Keep 'em coming.

Daniel W. Powell said...

Good Morning, Aaron and James,

Thanks for dropping by! I love these little exercises myself. I used to read slush as an editor at the Clackamas Literary Review, and I always wondered how a collection of all my favorites would shape up.

I suppose I'm about 25% of the way there!