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The Compleat Werewolf and Other Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction

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This blend of horror, science fiction and fantasy represents a rich display of the best short fiction by award-winning writer Anthony Boucher. THE COMPLEAT WEREWOLF is peopled by interplanetary predators, rebellious androids, desert-dwelling mutants, doppelgangers and, of course, the famous Professor Wolfe Wolf, and inspired and all-devouring individual bent on possessing This blend of horror, science fiction and fantasy represents a rich display of the best short fiction by award-winning writer Anthony Boucher. THE COMPLEAT WEREWOLF is peopled by interplanetary predators, rebellious androids, desert-dwelling mutants, doppelgangers and, of course, the famous Professor Wolfe Wolf, and inspired and all-devouring individual bent on possessing Gloria, his favorite student, since become a glamorous Hollywood star. Contents: • The Compleat Werewolf [Fergus O’Breen] • na Unknown Apr ’42 • The Pink Caterpillar [Fergus O’Breen] • ss Adventure Feb ’45 • Q.U.R. [as by H. H. Holmes] • ss Astounding Mar ’43 • Robinc [as by H. H. Holmes; Quinby’s Usuform Robots] • ss Astounding Sep ’43 • Snulbug • ss Unknown Dec ’41; F&SF May ’53 • Mr. Lupescu • ss Weird Tales Sep ’45 • They Bite • ss Unknown Aug ’43 • Expedition • ss Thrilling Wonder Stories Aug ’43 • We Print the Truth • na Astounding Dec ’43 • The Ghost of Me • ss Unknown Jun ’42


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This blend of horror, science fiction and fantasy represents a rich display of the best short fiction by award-winning writer Anthony Boucher. THE COMPLEAT WEREWOLF is peopled by interplanetary predators, rebellious androids, desert-dwelling mutants, doppelgangers and, of course, the famous Professor Wolfe Wolf, and inspired and all-devouring individual bent on possessing This blend of horror, science fiction and fantasy represents a rich display of the best short fiction by award-winning writer Anthony Boucher. THE COMPLEAT WEREWOLF is peopled by interplanetary predators, rebellious androids, desert-dwelling mutants, doppelgangers and, of course, the famous Professor Wolfe Wolf, and inspired and all-devouring individual bent on possessing Gloria, his favorite student, since become a glamorous Hollywood star. Contents: • The Compleat Werewolf [Fergus O’Breen] • na Unknown Apr ’42 • The Pink Caterpillar [Fergus O’Breen] • ss Adventure Feb ’45 • Q.U.R. [as by H. H. Holmes] • ss Astounding Mar ’43 • Robinc [as by H. H. Holmes; Quinby’s Usuform Robots] • ss Astounding Sep ’43 • Snulbug • ss Unknown Dec ’41; F&SF May ’53 • Mr. Lupescu • ss Weird Tales Sep ’45 • They Bite • ss Unknown Aug ’43 • Expedition • ss Thrilling Wonder Stories Aug ’43 • We Print the Truth • na Astounding Dec ’43 • The Ghost of Me • ss Unknown Jun ’42

30 review for The Compleat Werewolf and Other Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    May 2019 Review: I'm not rereading the entire book, just a couple of the short stories focusing on robots. Q.U.R. is closely named to the classic R.U.R. which gave us the word 'robot', but were actually artificially created biologic machines that looked like humans. In this story, Boucher explores why we make robots look like humans when other shapes would probably be more efficient. The idea of the uncanny valley is not apparent, but he has some other ideas that are just as interesting. Robinc May 2019 Review: I'm not rereading the entire book, just a couple of the short stories focusing on robots. Q.U.R. is closely named to the classic R.U.R. which gave us the word 'robot', but were actually artificially created biologic machines that looked like humans. In this story, Boucher explores why we make robots look like humans when other shapes would probably be more efficient. The idea of the uncanny valley is not apparent, but he has some other ideas that are just as interesting. Robinc is a continuation of the prior story. Now that they've managed to get non-android robots made legal, they still have to get the public to accept them. Like its predecessor, a bit madcap & fun. Not as many good ideas in this one. I read several others & was impressed by the whole thing no matter the genre. Good author. It's a shame he seems to have been forgotten. --------------- March 2010 Review: This is a collection of short stories. The first is the title story & was amusing, an interesting take on lycanthropy. Kind of hoaky, but fun & full of older references from the McCarthy era. Well worth reading. 4 stars. The second story is a different sort of horror story, "The Pink Caterpillar". It is told by Fergus, the detective from the first story. Interesting, but I wouldn't rush out to read it again. 3 stars. I continued to read this collection & was more & more amazed by the number of stories & genres it covered. They were all good stories, somewhat dated in most cases, but not badly. Some stories were SF, others a blend of SF & Fantasy or even the paranormal - time travel mixed with a demon or a newspaper that always prints the truth. Some were horror, without gore, but pretty terrifying. Again, I'll use the truthful newspaper as an example or a man who chats with his own ghost. All were well worth reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    "The Compleat Werewolf" gathers together 10 short stories and novellas from the pen of Anthony Boucher, all of which originally appeared in various pulp magazines (such as "Unknown Worlds," "Adventure Magazine," "Astounding Science Fiction," "Weird Tales" and "Thrilling Wonder Stories") from 1941-'45. Boucher, whose real name was William Anthony Parker White, was a man of many talents, and during his career, which lasted from the early '40s to the late '50s, he worked as a magazine editor, a boo "The Compleat Werewolf" gathers together 10 short stories and novellas from the pen of Anthony Boucher, all of which originally appeared in various pulp magazines (such as "Unknown Worlds," "Adventure Magazine," "Astounding Science Fiction," "Weird Tales" and "Thrilling Wonder Stories") from 1941-'45. Boucher, whose real name was William Anthony Parker White, was a man of many talents, and during his career, which lasted from the early '40s to the late '50s, he worked as a magazine editor, a book reviewer (for "The New York Times" and "New York Herald Tribune") and an author of science fiction, horror and mystery. I initially learned of this "Compleat Werewolf" collection of 1969 from the excellent overview volume "Horror: 100 Best Books," in which author Neil Gaiman sings the book's praises. But even Gaiman is compelled to admit that the Boucher collection is an unlikely pick for a Top 100 Horror list, as only about five of the book's tales are even vaguely horrific, and all but a couple are leavened by a goodly dose of humor. Still, he tells us "it contains at least two stories worth their weight in chilled blood," and indeed, all 10 stories are perfectly produced little gems of either horror, fantasy or flat-out sci-fi. A recent rereading of the collection, after a period of around 12 years, has served to remind me of what a wonderful and amusing writer Boucher could be. As for the stories themselves: The collection opens neatly with the novella-length title work, "The Compleat Werewolf," in which a German-language professor, Wolfe Wolf, learns--thanks to his new drinking buddy, the magician Ozymandias--that he is a full-fledged werewolf, capable of change at will. Much of the situations are played for laffs, but this longish tale ultimately manages to conflate devil worshippers, G-men, Nazi spies, a Hollywood starlet and a talking cat, culminating with one extremely suspenseful action siege indeed. The tale wraps up in a manner that could have easily led to an entire series of tales about our werewolf hero working for the FBI; I wonder if Robert McCammon was influenced by this classic story when he wrote his 1989 novel "The Wolf's Hour." Next up is "The Pink Caterpillar," a story of pure horror that is told by one of the G-men characters of "The Compleat Werewolf." Here, a "doctor" residing in the Mexican countryside learns that pacts with rural medicine men don't always come off as planned. This little chiller is one of the more grisly tales in the bunch. An example of Boucher's skill as a sci-fi writer, "Q.U.R." tells the story of a trio of men who come up with the strictly utilitarian, "usuform" robot to replace the humanoid androids then in use. This is a charming story, filled with likable characters, both human and alien. Written in 1942, the tale features a black president (here, actually, as Council Head, more of a world president) 66 years before the Obama fact. In a really right-on passage, Boucher writes "...ten centuries ago people would have snorted just like that at the idea of a black as Head on this planet. Such narrow stupidity seems fantastic to us now. Our own prejudices will seem just as comical to our great-great-grandchildren." Let us hope! "Robinc," up next, is a direct sequel to "Q.U.R.," and just as entertaining, as our trio of inventors gets into major-league trouble after their new robots become a success. Really wonderful Golden Age sci-fi, this. In "Snulbug," the first story that Boucher ever sold, a research scientist uses the inch-tall titular demon, raised by necromantic means, to assist him in amassing a small fortune. But naturally, things go consistently awry, in this highly clever, time-paradox tale. "Mr. Lupescu," the shortest story of the bunch, finds a child's imaginary playmate to be not so imaginary as it first appears. Boucher skillfully manages to cram two major surprises into this five-page affair! Up next is "They Bite," easily the most horrifying and grisliest tale in the collection. Here, a louse of a human being, a seller of wartime Army secrets, discovers that the legend of the Carker clan--cannibalistic desert dwellers in the American Southwest--may not be a legend after all. The denouement of this horrific tale--an inspiration for Wes Craven's "The Hills Have Eyes," perhaps?--should linger long in the reader's memory. "Expedition," a humorous tale of the first Martian voyage to Earth, told in the form of radio transmissions, comes next. This straightforward sci-fi story features some interesting protagonists (the Martians are described as being hexagonlike bugs) and a rather clever conclusion. The story that follows, the 70-page novella "We Print the Truth," is the longest tale of the bunch, and a real winner. In a setup that Rod Serling might well have approved of, a small-town newspaper editor is granted a wish by his mysterious typesetter (who may or may not be a fairy of the Oberon variety). He wishes that his paper, in the future, will tell nothing but the truth, and soon enough, anything that is printed therein has the power to alter reality. What an opportunity for effecting change, for ending wars and bettering lives! But our harried editor soon finds that this godlike ability comes with some serious problems, in this extremely ingratiating tale. Filled with loads of interesting characters and conversations, convincing details of small-town Americana, and endless invention, this might be my personal favorite story of the bunch. The collection wraps up with "The Ghost of Me," another clever, short tale. Here, a man's ghost comes back to haunt his house...even though the man is not quite dead yet! The ghost has made a slight miscalculation as regards timing, in this decidedly loopy story...one that yet still manages to pull off a rather suspenseful ending. So there you have it: 10 stories of varied subject matter in varied genres, all with only one thing in common...the ability to mightily entertain the reader. As far as making the case for Anthony Boucher being a writer of great and manifold talents, I would have to say that the collection is a complete--or, rather, compleat--success. More than highly recommended!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    1943 Retro Hugo Finalist for Best Novella “The Compleat Werewolf” by Anthony Boucher (Unknown Worlds, April 1942) Read 4/20/2018; really liked it. Great characterization and a better, kinder view of the werewolf myth. 4 stars Also skimmed through the other stories published by Boucher in 1941 and read the last story of the anthology - "The Ghost of Me" - which was also quite good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    For QUR and the sequel...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    Not really scary (with the exception of They Bite), but well-written and fun to read, anyway.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bill Chance

    Classic stuff from the good old days, when men were men, women were women, and the FBI recruit was a were wolf. My blog entry: http://billchance.org/2011/06/30/the-... Classic stuff from the good old days, when men were men, women were women, and the FBI recruit was a were wolf. My blog entry: http://billchance.org/2011/06/30/the-...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Werner

    All of the stories included in this anthology are included in the comprehensive collection of Boucher's speculative fiction, The Compleat Boucher (see my review of that title).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Dhu

    I acquired Anthony Boucher’s collection, The Compleat Werewolf and Other Stories because I was reading novellas recommended by various folks about the Internet as possible nominations for the 1943 Retro Hugos, and The Compleat Werewolf was one of them. I don’t remember reading much of Boucher’s work back in my early years of sf reading, but I enjoyed The Compleat Werewolf enough to go on and read the other stories in the collection. Boucher tends to write with a light, even comical touch, incorp I acquired Anthony Boucher’s collection, The Compleat Werewolf and Other Stories because I was reading novellas recommended by various folks about the Internet as possible nominations for the 1943 Retro Hugos, and The Compleat Werewolf was one of them. I don’t remember reading much of Boucher’s work back in my early years of sf reading, but I enjoyed The Compleat Werewolf enough to go on and read the other stories in the collection. Boucher tends to write with a light, even comical touch, incorporating elements of the ridiculous into his fiction, but in such a way as to make them seem quite appropriate at the time. Not that all of his stories are comedies. Several of the ones in this collection deal with very serious matters, from German spy rings in WWII, to murder. But Boucher unfolds even these dark plots with wit and just the right amount of detachment. In the title novella, The Compleat Werewolf, a man rejected by the woman he loves because he isn’t someone special like an actor or a G-man discovers he’s a werewolf. He gets a gig as a dog in a major motion picture, and is then hired by the FBI when he exposes a major spy ring. He also discovers that the girl of his dreams isn’t worth it. But he makes friends with a talking cat. The Pink Caterpillar, Mr. Lupescu and They Bite are all about the lengths someone will go to, to get rid of someone in their way. And how their actions carry the seeds of their own destruction. Boucher tried his hand at some stories about a company that made robots, much as Asimov did. Two of them, Q.U.R and Robinc, are included in the collection. I actually found them more interesting and funnier than Asimov’ early robot stories. And Dugg Quimby is much more intriguing a character than Susan Calvin. The novelette We Print the Truth is a thoughtful modern-day variation on the fairy tale of the fateful wish - the wish granted by a magical being that ultimately dies far more harm than good - that examines issues of free will, consent, a d the value of something earned over something taken. Many of the stories in this collection depend on the unexpected plot twist - The Ghost of Me being one if the clearest examples. A steady diet of Boucher might make this structural preference feel a bit overused, but it’s generally well handled. One thing I quite enjoyed about these stories was the way that Boucher works philosophical considerations into so many of them. Fate, karma, the meaning of free will the theological problem of the existence of evil - there’s generally something to reflect on after reading. Boucher also tends to toss in casual notes of social criticism. In one story, he has a character comment that once it would have been unthinkable for the head of the government to be a black person. In another, during a discussion of horror tales about ogres from around the world in reference to an abandoned pioneer home in the Arizona desert, a character mentions an Indian tribe that vanished after the pioneers arrived, and adds “That’s not so surprising. The white race is a sort of super-ogre, anyway.” I’ve been doing a lot of reading of classic sf recently, and I must report that finding Boucher’s works has been an unexpected plus.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Norman Cook

    I read the title story as a finalist for the Retro Hugo Awards (1942). I did not read the other stories. This is a lighthearted tale of a man, Wolfe Wolf, who accidentally discovers he is a werewolf from a mysterious magician. Wolf wants to use his newfound power to help him woo a beautiful young actress. But complications ensue, most with varying degrees of comedic results. As such, this is a nice take on what is usually a subject for horror. But I'm not sure it really reaches the level of a Hug I read the title story as a finalist for the Retro Hugo Awards (1942). I did not read the other stories. This is a lighthearted tale of a man, Wolfe Wolf, who accidentally discovers he is a werewolf from a mysterious magician. Wolf wants to use his newfound power to help him woo a beautiful young actress. But complications ensue, most with varying degrees of comedic results. As such, this is a nice take on what is usually a subject for horror. But I'm not sure it really reaches the level of a Hugo winner, as it's pretty much just a romantic comedy without a lot of subtlety. It's a fun, entertaining story, but Boucher's other 1942 novella, "Barrier," would probably have been a better choice as a Retro Hugo finalist.

  10. 5 out of 5

    JW

    These stories from the 1940’s exemplify an optimism that reminds me of Robert Heinlein. Sure, there’s a war on and we’ve got to beat the Nazis, but we’ll pull through. We just have to buckle down and get to work. Boucher adds a strong dose of whimsy to the can do spirit. “The Compleat Werewolf” could have been filmed as a screwball comedy, while “We Print the Truth” has more than a trace of Frank Capra. Nick and Nora Charles would have been right at home in the well-lubricated atmosphere of most These stories from the 1940’s exemplify an optimism that reminds me of Robert Heinlein. Sure, there’s a war on and we’ve got to beat the Nazis, but we’ll pull through. We just have to buckle down and get to work. Boucher adds a strong dose of whimsy to the can do spirit. “The Compleat Werewolf” could have been filmed as a screwball comedy, while “We Print the Truth” has more than a trace of Frank Capra. Nick and Nora Charles would have been right at home in the well-lubricated atmosphere of most of the stories. Most, but not all. The three tales of horror, “The Pink Caterpillar”, “Mr. Lupescu” and “They Bite” are told straight, and are quite effective.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Still shocked that Hollywood never adapted Boucher's Compleat Werewolf into the Incredible Mr. Limpet of werewolf flicks (think Frank Capra + werewolf) - esp. considering that Boucher wrote screenplays.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Baron

    The Compleat Werewolf *** So much fun

  13. 5 out of 5

    Frederic Van Laere

    Don't judge this book by its cover. Or by its title, for that matter.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Carter

    I love Boucher’s writing, but it’s been a long time since I read his short stories. It’s easy to forget how effortlessly he moves from comedy to science fiction to fantasy to horror to paradoxes of time-travel and interdimensionality—not to mention assorted combinations of these. It’s unfortunate that, at least partly because of the period in which they were written, everybody smokes and everybody drinks (and everybody drinks to excess at times, because booze it the best way to deal with unhappi I love Boucher’s writing, but it’s been a long time since I read his short stories. It’s easy to forget how effortlessly he moves from comedy to science fiction to fantasy to horror to paradoxes of time-travel and interdimensionality—not to mention assorted combinations of these. It’s unfortunate that, at least partly because of the period in which they were written, everybody smokes and everybody drinks (and everybody drinks to excess at times, because booze it the best way to deal with unhappiness or celebration) and the women (the very few women) tend to suffer from unrequited love until the very end when it’s suddenly requited and they marry. However it must be said to his credit that the women are all feisty. Anyway it’s minus half a star for the alcohol and the absence of women—making three-and-a-half, rounded up to four.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Norman Cook

    "We Print the Truth" (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1943) - 71-page novella. A small-town newspaper publisher is granted his wish that everything in his paper be the truth, and soon reality starts conforming to that truth. Things seemingly go well at first--a murderer turns himself in, for example, but things eventually spiral out of control as the publisher exerts more and more control over the inhabitants of his town. The moral of the story is telegraphed miles away, but there are a few "We Print the Truth" (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1943) - 71-page novella. A small-town newspaper publisher is granted his wish that everything in his paper be the truth, and soon reality starts conforming to that truth. Things seemingly go well at first--a murderer turns himself in, for example, but things eventually spiral out of control as the publisher exerts more and more control over the inhabitants of his town. The moral of the story is telegraphed miles away, but there are a few twists and turns to keep the reader going.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Mar 25 "The Compleat Werewolf" Mar 25 "The Pink Caterpillar" Mar 26 "Q.U.R." Mar 26 "Robinc" Mar 27 "Mr. Lupescu" Mar 28 "Expedition" Mar 29 "Snulbug" Mar 29 "They Bite" Mar 29 "We Print the Truth" Mar 30 "The Ghost of Me" all are included in The Compleat Boucher Mar 25 "The Compleat Werewolf" Mar 25 "The Pink Caterpillar" Mar 26 "Q.U.R." Mar 26 "Robinc" Mar 27 "Mr. Lupescu" Mar 28 "Expedition" Mar 29 "Snulbug" Mar 29 "They Bite" Mar 29 "We Print the Truth" Mar 30 "The Ghost of Me" all are included in The Compleat Boucher

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Sutch

    This is strictly B-grade pulp fiction from the 1940s, entertaining as far as it goes, but not comparable to masters of the craft such as Bloch or Fredric Brown. The exceptions are the final two tales, "We Only Print the Truth," which gets into some nice juicy moral quandaries, and "My Own Ghost," which has a nice twist on the ghost story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    January Carroll

    This book was a lot of fun. it is highly imaginative, funny, dark in spots, and has that 'noir' feel to it--complete with jaded detectives and witty repartee. It's a fast read, and I listened to it with my son, who agreed that we need to hunt up more stories by this guy. It's kind of Gaiman meets Chandler.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Seanearlyaug

    This is a classic. It should be on every werewolf lover's bookshelf. It gives the story from the werewolf as both good guy and as uninformed were. It has a verse in Young Man Mulligan/The great fantastical bum filk song. Which seems to have only paper sources.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Grimread

    This was really so much fun to read. I don't usually read many short stories but Boucher had some really awesome ideas. But as I listened to an audio-book I just wish the narrator would put a little more care into dividing the stories.

  21. 4 out of 5

    storiwa

    can't deal with what seems to be another bad werewolf book today.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    Reviewed by Sandy: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi... Reviewed by Sandy: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Richard Anderson

    Fun overall, but dated. The best stories are heavily anthologized.

  24. 5 out of 5

    James

    Good collection of largely whimsical and light-hearted fantasy and science fiction stories. Golden age (or just after), but not as dated as many of that era now seem. A good introduction to Boucher.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Norman Howe

    Collection of fantasy and sf.

  26. 5 out of 5

    James Hold

    It might have been all right in its day but it doesn't hold up.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cindie Flannigan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Two Envelopes and a Phone

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bill

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