Deal Me In – Week 51 Wrap Up

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The Penultimate round of Deal Me In yielded the following posts:

Dale wrote about Ring Lardner’s “Alibi Ike” http://mirrorwithclouds.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/ring-lardner-alibi-ike/

Katherine wrote about Charles de Lint’s “The Invisibles” http://katenread.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/deal-me-in-week-51-the-invisibles/

Candiss posted about the John Cheever story “Goodbye, My Brother” http://readthegamut.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/deal-me-in-challenge-story-51-goodbye-my-brother-by-john-cheever/

Randall covers “The Bris” by Eileen Pollack http://timeenuf.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-bris-by-eileen-pollack.html

I read the Jerome Bixby short story, “It’s a Good Lifehttps://bibliophilica.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/its-a-good-life-by-jerome-bixby/

I should also mention that we’ve had another participant, Susan  at Avid Series Reader, (who I’ve shared links to before on occasion but have not been good about looking for new updates since they were somewhat infrequent) who posts her reviews on Shelfari.  Peeking at her website today, I see she’s updated her roster with links to all of her reviews for 2014.  It’s at http://avidseriesreader.blogspot.com/2014/01/2014-deal-me-in-short-story-challenge.html  if you’d like to take a look.

One more week to go. Thanks to everyone who has joined me in Deal Me In this year, whether for the whole year or for parts of the year. You’ve really helped make it a fun challenge for me.

AND If you’re dealing yourself in again for DMI 2015, please take a moment and comment on the sign up post https://bibliophilica.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/its-the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year-deal-me-in-2015-sign-up/ with a link to your roster, if you’ve finalized one already, or even to just say that you’re in. Also please consider helping spread the word about Deal Me In. We have three new participants already for next year, and there’s always room for more. 🙂

 

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“It’s a Good Life” by Jerome Bixby

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Some short stories outgrow their original confines and enter the public consciousness, often due to being adapted into movies (think The Birds or The Shawshank Redemption) or television shows. One such is Jerome Bixby’s tale “It’s a Good Life,” featuring a “monster” who also just happens to be a little boy named Anthony.

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Already recognized as a superior short story, first published in Frederick Pohl’s “Star Science Fiction Stories” magazine in 1953, it took on a new life when it was adapted into a teleplay for Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone” series in 1959, starring Billy Mumy (later of “Lost in Space” ‘Danger, Will Robinson!’ Fame). The episode has made many of the lists of top all-time episode lists, etc., and deservedly so. It, like the story, is deliciously creepy.

Anthony, who in the story – unlike the Twilight Zone episode – we are introduced to immediately, has supernatural mental powers, including the ability to wish things in and out of existence (like the rest of the world except for his small town of Peaksville; where did it go?) and the power to read people’s thoughts, of which certainly no good comes. At his age, Anthony’s attempts to both help and harm usually lead to disaster and horror, so the other 45 inhabitants of Peaksville have settled into an eggshell-walking existence of constantly thinking “it’s a good day” or “it’s good that Anthony did (whatever terrible thing he did)” What must such an existence be like for those living there?

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Some might consider Star Trek’s “Charlie X” an adolescent version of Anthony. Maybe William Shatner should have starred in this episode of the Twilight Zone as well…

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