Six Stories from 1941,50,58,59,62.
Not the best Leiber collection out there. Some stories try for the subtle touch but they just plod along to the payoff which isn’t that great and usually predictable.
“A Bit Of The Dark World” (1962) – A science-fantasy writer who is also a research psychologist invites two friends to his remote cabin. His friends are a couple who have worked on cheapie SF movies. He thinks he’s seeing things. Even on the drive up everyone starts seeing strange things. Are they real of just an effect of the sun in their eyes? If so then what about those images in the dark?
“The Dead Man” (1950) – A scientific experiment is conducted on a man who has the ability to fake diseases. Eventually the subject dies and the scientist is disgraced. His friend watched but couldn’t do anything. Six months later he gets a call from the scientist who has a new project in mind.
“The Power Of The Puppets” (1949) – A master puppeter has an accident. He becomes remote to the point where his wife calls in a friend who is a P.I. to find out what’s really going on. She thinks the puppets are being controlled by rats.
“Schizo Jimmie” (1959) – A man kills his friend because he thinks he causes people, including his sister, to go insane.
“The Man Who Made Friends With Electricity” (1960) – A man buys a house in the country to be near the wires without a lot of city sounds to distract him. He says there are voices in electricty that communicate with him. Comes a time he doesn’t like what he hears.
“A Deskful Of Girls” (1958) – A psychologist keeps his patient’s auras in his office desk. The ex-husband of a movie star hires a P.I. to get her ghosts back. This is my favorite of the six stories.