Be wary of "previously unpublished works".
I've just read some short stories about Salomon Kane, by Robert Howard. Initial stories about Conan are pretty good, and while simple it's exceptionally well written action fantasy. And Conan is is nowhere as stupid a person as people (who haven't read it) make him. So I thought I would probably like something by the same author... ?
How WRONG I was.
This is not about Salomon Kane per se. I started seeing a pattern. Previously unpublished stories tend to be low quality. And it just makes sense ! In many cases unpublished stories are simply stories the author considered bad or editors rejected. It's been thrown away. Not in all cases, but more often than not they're trash. This begs for an analogy: you can find food in a trash can and eat it. But it's probably not a good idea.
If you like an author, you like him in part because of his judgement. If his work is collecting dust in some drawer, it's because his judgement tells him it's not good. Author's judgement is what makes you like his work. You already respect his judgement to write stories. Skip the posthumously published work. It's the logical next step.
There is only one exception - when a story is not published because it was interrupted by author's death. Then someone else may finish it and it will probably be a polished work for most part, because it will be written to the standards of an experienced writer.
Last edited by b0rsuk; 05-06-2012 at 10:05 AM.