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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Christopher Priest is one of the most acclaimed writers of both SF and literary fiction at work today. Here, for the first time in almost twenty years, is a collection of his short work. Largely previously uncollected, ranging from the horrific to the touching, the science fictional to the realist, these stories are a perfect demonstration of the breadth and power of Pries ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 11th 2019 by Gollancz
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Glenn Russell

Are you a writer? If so, you will surely resonate with the above photo of a writer's desk awaiting the presence of the writer. In this case, the desk belongs to none other than Christopher Priest. We can picture the British author walking in, taking a seat, turning on his computer and preparing himself to launch into his next work in progress - hardly a new experience since he's been writing, mostly fiction, for over fifty year with many essays, short stories and seventeen published novels to hi
(3.5) Episodes collects eleven stories which originally date from between 1972 and 2017. All of them have been previously published, but many appeared either in magazines or out-of-print anthologies, and have therefore been difficult to find until now.

At first, I wondered whether this was a bad place to start with Christopher Priest's short fiction. This is, after all, a selection of relatively obscure pieces, not a set of stories designed to be read together. But in the end, I enjoyed it quite
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some really horrible things in here (as the author almost apologetically admits) including the highlight, 'I, Haruspex', which is (this is hard to describe, I'll give it a go) about a chap reluctantly tasked with keeping unspeakable hell-fauna from entering 'this realm' via a weird aperture behind a wall in his large country pile (which also features a solitary member of staff who - apart from providing apparently nuisance sexual intrigue - cooks up broths featuring cancer-pellets delivered by a ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Llevo unos días con el libro leído y pensando si le daba tres o cuatro estrellas. Me ha gustado bastante más de lo que esperaba después de la decepción que me supuso The Gradual. Sin embargo, hay dos o tres relatos flojos, uno de ellos particularmente malo. Y eso cuando apenas hay una decena de cuentos, dos ya publicados previamente, y todos relativamente extensos juega en contra de la valoración final. Sin embargo me he decantado por el cuatro por dos motivos. Primero, es un acierto la recupera ...more
Esther King
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great collection of sci-fi/horror, Episodes pulls none of the stops in nearly all of its stories. While I found some more contrite than others (such as the VR one), I very much enjoyed the rest, especially when the authors puts his pen to eldritch horrors. The mental image of a German warplane only just suspended before the moment of a crash Simmons up an old memory in me that I can’t place of a story read long ago. This collection shines most brilliantly considering that many of these were un ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The stories are patchy - Palely Loitering the best - but the Before and After pieces on their writing and publication make this worth reading for Priest fans.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
2.5 stars.

The before and after comment on each of the stories were quite interesting, but most of the stories themselves weren't great. Not a strong collection, in my opinion.

My favourite stories were:
- The Head and the Hand
- Palely Loitering
Peter Dixon
Oct 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, audiobook
I love Christopher Priest, but this one didn't do it for me!
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, sf
Episodes is the latest release from Christopher Priest, a collection of short stories.

Surprisingly the first three were horror stories, something the author doesn't usually venture into in the novels I've read, but they were good - I, Haruspex especially (and it's truly horrific - look up Haruspex if you're not sure what it means!)

Most of the remaining stories delve into subjects I'm more familiar with from the author - a mix time travel and speculative fiction, and they are all decent reads.

Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Rather a mixed bag of short stories, not by any means an anthology, as there's less than a dozen included, and he has written enough to fill two previous volumes. Aside from two or three, these are mostly modern writings, not really a career spanning book, honestly, it feels a bit like a contract deadline came up and this was a speedy way to resolve it. There is a bit of commentary about each story included before and after, which perhaps is more interesting than some of the stories themselves.. ...more
Rob Lloyd-jones
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Won't be everyone's cup of tea with some disturbing stories to say the least. However, quite stimulating and it's interesting to get an insight as to how short stories are commissioned (each chapter is given a 'before' and 'after' it was wrote). A good introduction to the author's writing and would be keen to seek other books but these short stories on their own do not have enough closure. Still an enjoyable read.
Andrew McClarnon
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
The classic CP cocktail, where a haunting, disquieting content is delivered in smooth, silky, almost cosy form. For the most part I am left baffled by each story, but with a vivid impression that will haunt my memory until one day I'll be back again to reconfirm my bafflement. I appreciated the short before and after essays that helped place the story in CP's life and work.
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
5 cracking stories and a few duds thrown in.
Brian Nelson
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Christopher Priest was born in Cheshire, England. He began writing soon after leaving school and has been a full-time freelance writer since 1968.

He has published eleven novels, four short story collections and a number of other books, including critical works, biographies, novelizations and children’s non-fiction.

He has written drama for radio (BBC Radio 4) and television (Thames TV and HTV). In

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