Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unexpected Surprise in the Most Unlikely of Places

The horror anthology Fears came out in 1983.  At that time I bought every horror book I could get my hands on.  This book was one of those acquisitions.

I loved it.  There were some excellent short stories in there.  The cover, understated and powerful, left me unprepared for just how good the book was going to be.  When yo have a roster that includes the likes of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Dennis Etchison, Joe R. Lansdale and George R. R. Martin you can't really go wrong. 

I loved the book, but when I moved to CA it was one of the ones I chose to leave behind.  Over the years I have thought about it.  I haven't really gone seeking it out because I have a lot of books I haven't read.  Why delve into a book I've read before when I have a stack of unopened potential treasures?

All that changed when one day I walked into the break room at my job and there it was, sitting on the table all alone, in a spot where people usually leave their unwanted books for others to pick up.  I could not believe my eyes or my luck.  Usually the books that were left behind were thrillers, romances, books on animal care, or spiritual stuff.  This was unexpected and, quite honestly, shocking.

I grabbed it.

I grabbed it, but also felt guilty about it.  Who would leave such a treasure.  I asked around, and someone finally said they had done it.  I asked if they had meant to leave it, and she confirmed that she did.  I was not going to argue.  This was a much better find than The Love Explosion.  (Though not nearly as funny.)

I imagine my original copy will someday show up in a package of stuff my mother has cleared out of storage.  I'll compare conditions and then make a decision on which to keep.  Until that day comes, however, I'm not letting this one out of my sight again.

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