Haiku Reviews of Selected Stories from Fragile Things, a Compendium of Short Fiction by Neil Gaiman
Here’s my take on a few of the tales from Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders. As always, let’s not be too pedantic about what constitutes a haiku or a review.
The boy ran away
and found a friend with whom to play
and maybe stay.
In high school, some of our cross country routes took us through a cemetery. Some folks said it wasn’t an appropriate place to run, but I always figured the residents wouldn’t mind the company.
Who is the demon
who resurrects your regrets?
Feelings, flayed, expire.
Gaiman’s comments on this compact parable introduced me to the “Möbius story” label for cyclical stories. This is the first of two or three summarized here.
Evening on the town:
at the circus, underground,
kingdoms, lost, are found.
While they were in the fifth room, the prim biologist said she wished the Smilodon was not extinct. In the eighth room, the Cabinet of Wishes Fulfill’d, she was chosen as a volunteer.
Apparently this story was partly inspired by a Frazetta painting. Awesome.
We all have our needs –
a hunger for friends, or meat;
and some of us feed.
Ever run in to someone you used to know, and wonder what happened to them? Ever wish they hadn’t told you?
Dreams of roads and rain
in America’s motels,
searching for yourself.
There’s no better place to work out what you’re after than a booth at an all-night diner. If that doesn’t lead anywhere, you might really be lost – or at least there’s a long road ahead. Refill?
Barbecue Sunbird –
a summer delicacy!
Ashes, hatch, repeat.
I want to hang out with Zebediah T. Crawcrustle.
Each year, here we meet
to drink and feast but most to
make you monsters weep.
This story features characters from American Gods, and is set in the world of that novel. It’s a spin on the legend of Beowulf and Grendel, inflected by the American Gods idea that mythical figures exist but subsist only on the strength of human belief. The central question of Monarch of the Glen is simply this: what makes a monster?