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Old 03-12-2011, 10:42 AM   #1
caheaton
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Question What books were they?

Hello, as a child I remember reading a couple of books that have stuck with me through the years, but alas I can't remember their names. It seems to me that they were both short stories (but not necessarily part of the same anthology).

The first one centered around an underground prison that was a large wheel, and the prisoners had to pull on chains to keep the wheel moving so that they could hope to one day emerge. One of the prisoners begins to communicate with those in adjacent cells via a small gap in the stone where it meets the wall.

The other story was about either a an alien or a deformed creature (part human perhaps?) that was kept chained away. He would lay on the floor, drooling a green liquid and listen to the people (above?) him and brood upon his condition (the author might have been Lovecraft, as the writing had his atmosphere).

I would love to re-read those stories if I could ever find them...(lesson here...never discard a book!)
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:41 PM   #2
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first one sounds like one of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books revolving around John Carter of Mars series.

There is one were his princess gets stuck in a circular dungeon, this dungeon rotates in a manner such each "cell" can only be entered / exited once a year.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Sadly, that wasn't it (I found a pdf of it online and skimmed the book). It was a short story and the prisoners were men. The story centered around his time in prison and was told from one of the prisoner's point of view. Thanks for the book reference though. It looks like an interesting series.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:43 AM   #4
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The second story sounds like Richard Matheson's Born of Man and Woman.

Google Books has excerpts from The Dark Descent edited by David Hartwell. The excerpt includes the full text of this story.

http://books.google.com/books?id=pNg...theson&f=false
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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If I can jump on this thread, I've been looking for a title too.

I read the book in the early 1980's, and I believe it was published around that same time. The main character was either a red-haired samurai or a red-haired ninja. It was set in feudal Japan. The main character was tasked to guard a woman (princess?) on a journey across country to the man she would marry. They had an affair enroute - the woman gave birth to a red-haired baby and her husband threw the baby off a cliff and the main character then went for revenge.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:56 PM   #6
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WE HAVE A WINNER!

Thank you Ben. The second story (which I was skeptical of rediscovering given my sketchy memory of the details) is indeed Matheson's "Born of Man and Woman". It's been 35 years or so since I've read that story. It's good to have found it again. I'm definitely going to order the anthology that contains it.

Now if only I could find that first book...if it helps anyone, it was 35 to 40 years ago that I read it.

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Old 03-18-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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I had a similar problem once and was given a site to visit. In my case it was a sf book, but I don't remember whether the site was sf only. I did a quick google on the idea, and came up with this site, which you might like to try:

http://www.whatsthatbook.com/
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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Or you might try the stickied "Name that Book" thread in the Reading Recommendations subforum right here.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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I imagine you found your answer, Craig, but just in case: That first story made an impression on me, too! I read it a million years ago in a collection called Nine Strange Stories. This particular selection is called "Manuscript Found in a Police State," and it was written by Brian W. Aldiss.

Lots of other great work in Nine Strange Stories, but that one by Aldiss definitely stood out!
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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thank you!

THANK YOU!!

I never did find that book, but I believe you hit the nail on the head. As soon as I saw the cover (on amazon) of that book, "Nine Strange Tails" I remembered it. Year of publication is about right too....I would have purchased it through one of the Scholastic book sales they did in school (remember those?). The titles brought back other memories..."The Rocking Horse Winner" was another great one.

I wish they offered a kindle version of that book....

Craig
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