This edition contains all three of the "Unabridged Selections" volumes that are sold separately. So, if you're using a credit this is obviously the one to get. There are 3 stories from the print edition that are not included here: "The Ice Dragon" which is available as a seperate audiobook and the two television scripts: The Twilight Zone: "The Road Less Traveled" and Doorways, a pilot that was too similar to Sliders.
Fans of Game of Thrones will be pleased with "The Hedge Knight" which is set in the same universe.
Introduction by Gardner Dozois
A FOUR-COLOR FANBOY - Introduction to the following 3 stories read by George R.R. Martin
Only Kids Are Afraid Of The Dark
And Death His Legacy
THE FILTHY PRO- Introduction to the following 4 stories read by George R.R. Martin
The Exit To San Breta
The Second Kind Of Loneliness
With Morning Comes Mistfall
THE LIGHT OF DISTANT STARS - Introduction to the following 6 stories read by George R.R. Martin
A Song For Lya
This Tower Of Ashes
And Seven Times Never Kill A Man
The Stone City
The Way Of Cross And Dragon
THE HEIRS OF TURTLE CASTLE - Introduction to the following 2 stories read by George R.R. Martin
The Lonely Songs Of Laren Dorr
In The Lost Lands
HYBRIDS & HORRORS - Introduction to the following 6 stories read by George R.R. Martin
The Monkey Treatment
The Pear-Shaped Man
A TASTE OF TUF - Introduction to the following 2 stories read by George R.R. Martin
A Beast For Norn
THE SIREN SONG OF HOLLYWOOD - Introduction to 2 scripts missing from the audiobook edition.
DOING THE WILD CARD SHUFFLE - Introduction to the following 2 stories read by George R.R. Martin
From The Journal Of Xavier Desmond
THE HEART IN CONFLICT - Introduction to the following 6 stories read by George R.R. Martin
The Skin Trade
The Glass Flower
The Hedge Knight
Portraits Of His Children
Originally published in the November 1931 issue of Weird Tales pulp magazine, this is the story that gave birth to the Cthulhu mythos deity Tsathoggua. But its not the story that introduced Tsathoggua to the world, because while this story was written in 1929, it wasn't published for a couple years, and in the meantime Clark Ashton Smith showed the manuscript to his friend H.P. Lovecraft, who then invoked Tsathoggua in his own story "The Whisperer in Darkness" which was published in the August 1931 issue of Weird Tales. So, H.P.L's Tsathoggua was the first in print by three months even though it was created by Clark Ashton Smith.
While Lovecraft's Tsathoggua was first to print, he was only briefly mentioned in "The Whisperer in Darkness." In "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros" Tsathoggua is fleshed out with a wonderfully macabre and slightly humorous description: "He was very squat and pot-bellied, his head was more like that of a monstrous toad than a deity, and his whole body was covered with an imitation of short fur, giving somehow a vague suggestion of both the bat and the sloth. His sleepy lids were half-lowered over his globular eyes; and the tip of a queer tongue issued from his fat mouth. In truth, he was not a comely or personable sort of god..."
Needless to say, this story is a classic of weird fiction, and the reading by Jim Gallant is marvelous as you can tell by the sample. This is the type of audiobook that rewards full focus, and I personally enjoy visually reading stories such as this along with the narration for full immersion.
This is a true "classic" science fiction story. Originally published in the September 1943 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries pulp magazine, it was subsequently reprinted in Modern Masterpieces of Science Fiction edited by Sam Moskowitz, and then in a paperback anthology titled after this story "Doorway Into Time" that also featured classic stories from Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and others. It also appeared later in the '80's anthology The Golden Years of Science Fiction edited by Isaac Asimov. You can usually expect stories that are often reprinted to be high quality, and that is certainly the case here.
C.L. Moore is an author whose lyrical prose style compares to Ray Bradbury, and this story features plenty of lyrical beauty as well as many instances of alien concepts and motifs that deliver the otherness we yearn for in science fiction stories.
As you can tell from the generous sample provided, the narrator does a fantastic job of providing drama and urgency to the reading. Also provided are some background sounds and music that compels in the listener a wonderful sense of atmosphere.
Perhaps no author can surpass Wharton in delving into the darker corners of the feminine experience. Four of the five stories in this collection are premised on the lingering horror engendered by the harrowing experiences of women ensnared in oppressive circumstances or by their own demons. The fifth, "The Eyes," has more to do with the repercussions on men who touch the lives of women living in silent agony.The conclusion to this tale is particularly unexpected, and it was only after I thought about it for a while that it literally gave me goosebumps--true horror which relies not on gore or violence but strikes at the very core of our own existence.
As always, Wharton's writing is superb and inexorably draws the listener into the gothic atmosphere of these tales. Each story has its own excellent narrator and wonderfully creepy music is employed at various points, enhancing the macabre theme.