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Sunset With a Beard [Paperback]

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Item Number 261869  
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Item description for Sunset With a Beard by Carlton Mellick III...

A collection of fourteen stories that attempt to blend two opposing genres: surreal fiction and science fiction. The resulting journey through dark and desperate futures of aliens, diseases, and humanity's own madness is brain-bending and utterly bizarre.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   132
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.52" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.34"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Silver Lake Publishing
ISBN  1931095353  
ISBN13  9781931095358  

Availability  0 units.

More About Carlton Mellick III

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Carlton Mellick currently resides in Portland, in the state of Oregon.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > General
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Anthologies

Reviews - What do customers think about Sunset With a Beard?

science fiction at it's weirdest  Mar 16, 2008
(Ash Lomen)

"Sunset with a Beard" may just be one of the best modern collections of science fiction I've ever come across. The collection oozes oddity from it's every orifice.
And in the mucky-muck that is Carlton's bizarre universe you will find liquid plagues, haunted space travelers, drunken idiots, freakish aliens, love, betrayal and loss.

This is a collection as timeless as it is original.

such basic mistakes  Aug 8, 2007
This was my first exposure to Carlton Mellick III, so I don't know if I was to come at this from another angle, maybe after being familiar with other works of his, but what I found most unfortunate about this collection was its most basic mismanagement of its own genre.

After a rather basic intro that presents a rather short-minded distinction between science fiction and surrealism, Mellick poses a challenge to the reader to be able to distinguish surrealism from science fiction--whether Mellick offers this challenge in earnest or not notwithstanding, he then puts together fourteen tales that don't really smack much of science fiction at all, but surrealism that doesn't really challenge sensibilities or ultimately reveal much about human character, which is something that both genre seem to strive for.

Mellick also falls into a pretty typical trap of surrealistic writing that gets even the most naive newbie--the fault of letting his language get as vague as his settings. In surrealism, precision of language becomes key to dilineate and situate and establish in the work. Instead, Mellick stays vague with his language, hyphenating terms to make people 'almost-laugh,' for example, rather than offer a crisp and distinct hand through these turbulent images of civilizations that live in carpets and beards, and Jesus with a Chuck Berry fetish.

Perhaps one could counter and say that Mellick's language is meant to be as surreal and between worlds as the worlds of the stories themselves, but in the end his weak hand with language makes his moments of pathos rather thin and unidentifiable. Besides, Mellick seems more out to paint surrealistic strokes galore rather than allow his narrators and characters to accept their surroundings, to allow the real stories to take over. Instead, Mellick excuses his worlds by trying to explain them, and his characters become mere reporters than reactors to their situations, which would normally present the perfect opportunities to reveal how they appeal to us and why we might be intrigued to follow them to their (sometimes) sticky ends (see almost any Calvino and of course Donald Barthelme).

A collection of some occsional glimmers, but on the whole out to prove a point rather than breathe on its own.
Mellick + Short Stories = Excellent  Apr 5, 2006
This is the first book I read from author Carlton Mellick III, and I was blwon away. Upon buying it for obscene amounts of money from a friend I thought it was going to be a struggle to get through, seeing that the titles of the short stories were surreal/science fiction. Indeed I was wrong, this book is extremly easy and unbelievably fun to read, Each short story was filled with strange situations ex:(faceless characters, gardens growing hands)that i found it easiest to read one story at a time and let it sink in before moving to the next. I recommend if you have never heard of the author CM3 that you purchase this book first.
New classic  Aug 22, 2005
This is a great place to start for anyone who is unfamiliar with the author Carlton Mellick. There is a certain undeniably appealing element about all his work, and "Sunset With a Beard" is no exception. This book of surreall/science fiction stories ranks up there with any classic short story collection, and I do mean any. Like Ray Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles", or J.D. Salinger's "Nine Stories", all the stories are different, but the collection as a whole seems to have a similar thread strung throughout. There is an overall feel that permeates every page, no matter how unrelated each individual story seems. They are strange, beautiful, sometimes haunting, and often funny. If you like interesting new reads that will still be just as good (if not better) in 50 years, then this is definitely a book that you should own.
Short and Surreal  Mar 20, 2005
Each time I read a story in this book, vividly colored liquid oozed out of my ears. Mellick writes in a very personalized style, often using fabulously descriptive hypenated adjectives that flavor the work. The imagery his words create will be permanently imprinted in your brain, and you can enjoy the flashbacks when you close your eyes. These stories present a unique marriage of sci-fi and surrealism unavailable elsewhere. Adventurous readers who find the idea of sci-fi surrealism intriguing should buy this book immediately. It's a legal drug for the literate mind.

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