Sunday, April 9, 2023

Books I Am Looking Forward To: AD 100



The hard-working and admirable Seth Davis has announced a collection in two volumes of 100 uncollected stories (some not previously published) by Avram Davidson to be published on Avram's 100th birthday. Hence its title: AD 100.

That's Seth Davis up above, holding a proof copy of the book.

I will definitely buy a copy. Avram Davidson was--let me make this clear--the single greatest American short story writer of the Twentieth Century. He gets edged out of the world title by James Joyce, whose Dubliners rewrote the art of short fiction forever (or at least up to the present moment). But in America, there is no one to compare to him. He had extraordinary range, not only between genres (science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, literary mainstream) but in mood from the comic to the horrific, from the ethnic Jewish neighborhoods of his youth to back-hills New England, by way of Peking... It is astonishing how much Avram knew about everything and how many different kinds of people he knew well.

So, you may ask. If I'm not familiar with Avram Davidson's work, is this a good place to start?

No. That would be The Avram Davidson Treasury, a collection of some 37 of Avram's best stories, each with an introduction by a renowned writer, including (ahem) me. It was published a quarter-century ago, but luckily for you Seth Davis has arranged a paperback reprint, easily available online or ordered through your favorite bookstore.

Those who already have the Treasury, however, will want AD 100. The chance to read one hundred Avram Davidson stories I probably haven't encountered before? Oh, man!

And just who is this "Seth Davis" guy anyway . . . ?

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