Consider Her Ways and Others by John Wyndham

This volume contains two novellas and four short stories. The first novella is the titular “Consider Her Ways,” concerning a woman who accidentally trades minds with another woman who lives in the future, a bizarre future in which there are no more men. The other novella is “Random Quest,” concerning a man who winds up in an alternate universe for a spell, falls in love with a woman from that universe, then later attempts to find the same woman in his own universe. I happened to catch a modern made-for-TV movie of this novella a couple of years ago, which, for me at least, failed to capture the spirit of the original.

The remaining four stories were, for the most part, weaker than the novellas, with the exception of “A Long Spoon,” in which a man editing a film accidentally evokes a demon. Strips of film just happened to be lying on the cutting-room floor in the vague shape of a pentacle, while a piece of film played backwards at a slower pace caused a “word of power” to be uttered from the speakers. This story trumps all others by simply being a lot more fun.

Overall I was disappointed with this volume. The stories were too domestic, dialogue-heavy and drama-scarce, making them somewhat of a chore at times. And the punchlines often failed to reward the monotonous build-up. John Wyndham has much, much better works in print.

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