Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Return of the Black Widowers, by Isaac Asimov

The Return of the Black Widowers
By Isaac Asimov

With the demise of Isaac Asimov in 1992, came the demise of his Black Widowers. The Black Widowers were a fictional group of well-heeled men who met periodically for dinner and to solve some sort of mystery or puzzle. Asimov wrote 66 of these short stories during his lifetime and most were published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.

But a little more than a decade after Asimov's demise The Return of the Black Widowers made its way to bookstores. It contains six previously uncollected stories by Asimov as well as ten of the best from the previous five volumes. Also on board, a new Black Widowers tale by Charles Ardai, the editor of this volume, and a tribute piece by writer William Brittain. Bookending the volume are an introduction by Asimov pal, Harlan Ellison, and an excerpt from Asimov's autobiography, in which he discusses the genesis of the Black Widowers.

As I said in my previous review of a Black Widowers volume, the stories are probably an acquired taste. But they're definitely one that I've acquired and I plan to check out the other four books.

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