I read this when I was younger and I remember a few of the stories making an impression on me I recently bought a used copy to check it out again and it s been fun revisiting the material The one that always stood out to me the most was the one written in screenplay form, which was an interesting choice and the first time I was exposed to that format of writing. I picked this up for Isaac Asimov s story Northwestward and it unfortunately was completely stupid It references Batman but not really in a meaningful way And as a mystery story goes, it had the least interesting twist, after a really boring bunch of exposition and dialogue Other stories in here are probably better, but I doubt I ll get around to reading them If I do, I may change my review. I first read this little chappy in 89 I would have been just turning seventeen, and an avid Batfan, especially post Dark Knight Miller Moore period.I remember being vastly unimpressed with the book back then, but for two of the tales I also remember a little brouhaha over the graphic content of the first tale, raising a mention in English tabloids.Cut to now, twenty eight years later, and a re reading, and I find that my feelings haven t changed The majority of the book is shite, and the two stories that I originally enjoyed, have retained their magic Oh joy Neutral Ground by Mike Resnick Allusive, subtle, and almost gentle Subway Jack by Joe R Lansdale Bats meets the God of the Razor Love it The Lansdale story is only available here, or in the expensive, and rarer edition of A FIST FULL OF STORIES.You know what to do This is a book of Batman short stories that I m pretty sure I acquired in the 90 s I have volumes 2 and 3 as well I wanted to read this again to see if deserved to be kept and the answer is no Most of the stories were OK but I didn t think any of them were great Some were campy and set in the 1950s I think Some stories featured Robin as an active sidekick or as a dead character I still may try to read volumes 2 and 3 but the plan is to get rid of these books. Criminals Are A Superstitious, Cowardly Lot, So I Must Wear A Disguise That Will Strike Terror Into Their Hearts I Must Be A Creature Of The Night, Like A A A BatBruce WayneIt Began With Those Words Fifty Years Ago, A Crusade That Would Grow Into A Legend Orphaned As A Child, His Parents Murdered Before His Eyes, Millionaire Bruce Wayne Dedicated His Life To Avenging Their Deaths, Becoming In The Dark Of Night The Costume Garbed Protector Of Gotham City, BATMANTo Celebrate The Fiftieth Anniversary Of His Creation, Fifteen Of Today S Greatest Writers Of Fantastic Fiction Have Joined Together To Take You Inside His World Of Shadows And Fear In All New Tales Of Mystery, Humor, Horror, And The Supernatural These Are Your Guides Through The Further Adventures Of Batman I ve always loved themed anthologies, particularly ones where recognize authors and novelists all tackle a topic or setting they wouldn t normally do Though not all the stories in this anthology land partially because Batman has been reimagined so many times that he can be almost anything to anyone , many of them are quite effective, particularly a surrealist supernatural horror installment in which Batman is pitted against an eldritch abomination that inspired Jack the Ripper. Collection of fourteen short stories by different authors set in Gotham City Like most anthologies, some are very good and others not so much Weird ordering though because there are stories written after Robin has died followed by other ones where he is involved in the storyline Worth the time though for Batman fans. This is an anthology by the king of genre anthologies, Martin H Greenberg, as such some of the stories are quite good, others are so so, and one was really pointless This collection of fourteen stories has a disappointing line up of authors.I also found this book in a box of old paperbacks of mine and it dates from 1989, and man does it show Computers built with vacuum tubes and operated with punch cards It s unfamthomable And Batman s tech should be slightly futuristic not hopelessly out of date But it wasn t just the tech that was out of date several of these stories seemed to be based on the old 60s TV series Batman rather than the comics, and certainly not the Nolan films It s both understandable the book pre dates the Nolan films by two decades plus but it also pre dates many of the serious events in the history of the Batman comics books and DC comics in general.These are short stories, a couple of which are novella length, but not graphics I liked Death of the Dreammaster , Bats was unique, and Subway Jack though gross did a better job of pitting Batman against a reincarnation of Jack the Ripper than I ve seen before The Sound of One Hand Clapping could have been really good but it fell flat I couldn t help but compare Joker s would be paramour to Harley Quinn and find her The Mime lacking Neutral Ground was cute but seemed pointless and I always figured that Bruce and Alfred made Batman s costumes and gadgets Batman in Nighttown seemed totally pointless The Batman Memos was cute and at least was a unique approach to story telling Wise Men of Gotham a good mystery The Pirates of Millionaires Cove not only does the title sound like the title of a Hardy Boys Mystery it really read like one, predictable outcome and all The Origin of the Polarizer was very much like a 60s TV Batman adventure Idol was really awful It was terrible and left a bad taste in my mouth that spoiled the whole book Honestly, it would have been better if the editor had cut the story completely Daddy s Girl and Command Performance both feature Dick Grayson in a starring role, and I liked them both Daddy s Girl was slightly predictable and there s one scene with Batman that should have been a bit emotional, but both were pretty good.Overall, one should not search high and low for a copy of this no doubt out of print book, even if one is a big Batman fan. This book caught my eye 14 authors from traditional publishing backgrounds tackle the subject of The Batman, including ones I was already familiar with Max Allan Collins, Stuart Kaminsky, and Isaac Asimov Unfortunately, as I read through the book, I found it to be like most anthologies some stories are excellent and really appeal to me, while others make me feel like my time would have been productively spent watching butterflies flutter in a meadow.Let s look at Bats, by Henry Slesar, as an example In this tale, Batman publicly acts a little quirky, perhaps crazy I don t think it will be much of a spoiler to reveal that the hero has a reason, and a plan However, the Batman I ve encountered in prior readings would not undertake this behavior for tactical gain, realizing that the long term implications to his reputation might be strategically unwise On the other side of the coin, I did enjoy The Pirates of Millionaires Cove by Edward D Hoch and Death of the Dreammaster , by Robert Sheckley Both feature mysteries in which the Batman must use his problem solving skills, coupled with his intimidation factor and combat skills.Give it a read Your opinion may agree or diverge with mine on any given story, but I m sure there will be something in this collection that every Batman fan will like but be warned, there will probably be something that the same fan will not enjoy.RATING 3 stars Some stories are a 4 to 5, others a 2. Some of the stories in this collection are actually a pretty good read, but most of them are fairly sub par.Still, the collection provides an amusing enough read, if the awkward prose for some stories can be overlooked A couple of the stories feel out of place, such as Idol or Northwestward which don t help the book any.For the most part, characterization is pretty good from most of the authors Dick Grayson reads particularly reminiscent of his Animated Series self, despite these stories having been written prior to the show s debut The title man is a bit hit and miss with his characterization, something which is not aided by most of the authors tendency to muse a little too much on what I think is considered pretty common knowledge about Batman.All in all, not a bad little book Far from a stellar read, but for the 2.00 I got it for, I ll let it pass with three stars Which, is than I ve given some of the Batman comic storylines.
Martin Harry Greenberg was an American academic and speculative fiction anthologist In all, he compiled 1,298 anthologies and commissioned over 8,200 original short stories He founded Tekno Books, a packager of than 2000 published books In addition, he was a co founder of the Sci Fi Channel For the 1950s anthologist and publisher of Gnome Press, see
- Mass Market Paperback
- 416 pages
- The Further Adventures of Batman
- Martin H. Greenberg
- 15 November 2019 Martin H. Greenberg