of them, anyway ... these are for private use only and no links are to
be posted to anything in this folder or below, thanks. Some of
these are not commercially available. This collection is to make
it easy for my personal friends to read them, and in no way is intended to circumvent the copyright holder's rights.
- Ariadne Potts by Keith Roberts
Henry makes a wish, but
does he have what it takes to live his dream? Ever since reading
this story, I've always wanted to have my shot at Henry's dilemma, to
see what I would do.
- The Last Question by Isaac Asimov
I first encountered The
Last Question as a planetarium show. It seems to me Asimov has
condensed his life work, all his stories and novels, into this single
very short story. What do you think, is the question
answered? See also Wikipedia article.
After seeing the planetarium adaptation, Asimov "privately" concluded
that this story was the best science fiction yet written. SF
Readers agreed with him, voting it the best SF story of all time in a
poll in the late 1970's.
- The Twelve Dancing Princesses
My favorite version of this story is only available in audio format, ,from Jim Weiss' Best Loved Stories in Song and Dance (CD, cassette). The Grimm's version linked above is flat and dull by comparison. There is also the Lang version,
in which the characters are somewhat different. The number of
princesses varies in different versions, and I've seen it as few as
one, without even mention of shoes, and with the princess marrying her
underworld lover rather than the prince who discovers her secret.
I believe there is a very close analog to Twelve Dancing in the modern
world: the women who work as topless dancers, constantly wearing
out their shoes by dancing all night and keeping their underworld lives
secret from their parents and sometimes even from husbands.
- Cupid and Psyche
The version linked here is greatly abridged. My favorite is
the oldest and only complete version, three chapters out of Apuleius'
famous 2nd century novel The Golden Ass. The Bullfinch version
is also available on the web. By testimony of the French
fairytale authors themselves, Cupid and Psyche is a direct inspiration
for many of the world's most popular fairy tales, including Beauty and
the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, and others.
Some of the fairy tale authors even compare their heroines to Psyche in
the text of their stories. Though not well known in the US, Cupid
and Psyche is arguably one of the world's most popular stories, perhaps
the most. It is considered by folklorists to be an example of the
class of stories of "the maiden who married death" or a ghost, which
exist in cultures as far apart as the ancient Mediterranean and the
indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest. Movie versions include
Meet Joe Black and its predecessor Death Takes a Holiday, and parts of
the theme occur in many other places. There are even versions in
which the sex roles are reversed, such as I Married a Witch, Bewitched,
etc., and in the many folk tales in which a man marries a princess of
the underworld, usually a nymph of the lake or sea (recall Venus was
born of the sea).
Cupid and Psyche was taken as an allegory for the transmutation of lead
into gold, as well as a prescription for personal salvation, by
medieval alchemists. Jungian analyst-authors Erich Neumann and
Robert Johnson (She)
have taken it as an allegory for the development of the feminine
personality and character. My own view, which I hope to publish
someday, is that there is a lot about Cupid and Venus in this story
that is in modern times overlooked and misunderstood, but that would
have been automatically apparent and accepted by ancient goddess
worshippers. See also examples of Cupid and Psyche in art, and Wikkipedia article.
is a German variation of a story a little similar to Cinderella, and a
little similarity to Cupid and Psyche. I'm not sure what I find
so fascinating about it. Perhaps the spunk and cleverness of the
heroine, and how she insists on being accepted on all levels by her
prince. A similar theme is prevalent in the very wonderful
Checkoslavakian movie Three Wishes for Cinderella.
- Kerrie Experiments with Magic
you got this far, maybe you'd like to read a story I wrote. No
claims of being any ace story writer, but I like it. : ) Up
to a point it's based on some friends of mine, but then it becomes
completely fictional. I do discuss dreams with my friend on whom
Kerrie is based, and the mysterious yard described in the story is real
and lies along my jogging route where I pass it often. But in
fact Kerrie's daughter got married and her son is still a player.