cover image Resnick’s Menagerie

Resnick’s Menagerie

Mike Resnick. Silverberry (, $19.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-9843608-8-8

This occasionally uneven collection from Hugo-winner Resnick reprints a number of stories centered on one of his favorite recurring themes. He nicely captures the sentimental side of animal stories, whether in the classic postapocalyptic “The Last Dog” or nongenre weeper “Blue”; the best of these is “Barnaby in Exile,” a tale of animal experimentation that nicely updates “Flowers for Algernon.” Inexplicably (and excessively) down-home narrators slightly undercut otherwise solid stories like the safari-in-space “Hunting the Snark” or the Malthusian “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” The outright comic tales blur together, with the hard-boiled “Post Time in Pink” being one of the few standouts. Old-school “A Better Mousetrap” is probably the cream of the humorous crop, but “Stalking the Vampire” (from the novel of the same name) seems particularly out of place, given the sentience of the title characters and its redundancy after the much better “Stalking the Unicorn with Gun and Camera.” Still, Resnick fans are likely to enjoy the infrequently reprinted tales and informative author notes. (Sept.)