I’m usually not a short story reader unless it’s in The New Yorker (collections are so disjointed!), but I jumped on Trigger Warning after I had such a good time reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane in 2013. I love Neil Gaiman. I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of his novels, and I’ve liked every one (except Good Omens, the one he wrote with Terry Pratchett, who I also love). Gaiman seems to write exactly the stories I like to read (like Calvino, but so much easier to process).
Anyway. Here’s yet another list, this time of some of my favorite stories:
- “The Case of Death and Honey” is about Sherlock Holmes and bees. It’s hard to say any more without releasing a massive spoiler. Holmes hears about the mysterious disappearance of an old man in China. The man lived on a hillside and had several beehives, selling honey to surrounding villages. Then rumors circulated about the appearance of a white man asking about bees…
- “An Invocation of Incuriosity” might be my favorite. A man and his son live at the end of the world, and the sun has just died out. The father takes his son into a secret room in the house, and they suddenly appear in a city millions of years before, near the beginning of the world. The father is rich and has other sons by other women and tells his son-from-the-end-of-the-world that he has to pretend to be a servant. Turns out the father has been collecting stones and other objects from the end of the world to sell to the city folk. So good!
- “Nothing O’Clock” is a Doctor Who story! Whaaaat, you say? If you’re a fan, you probably know that Gaiman has written several episodes over the years. This story is set during Matt Smith’s tenure, and he and Amelia have to deal with the Kin (who appeared in a few episodes with David Tennant and Martha). Timey Wimey stuff happens, and it ran through my head like a TV episode.
- “Adventure Story” is really interesting. It’s about family secrets and what people really consider adventures.
- “The Return of the Thin White Duke” is about a Duke who is really a god and who is bored with ruling, so he goes off on an adventure that doesn’t turn out anything like he expected.
- “The Sleeper and the Spindle” is a blended retelling of a couple fairy tales (I’m sure you can guess one) with a really good twist.
And I’ll stop there, though I liked so many more. The weakest parts of the collection are the poems, but they’re all pretty short and lead to Much Better Things. Trigger Warning is definitely worth a read (or two or three).
Photo credit: orangejon