With a life as wild as his fiction, the award-winning sci-fi screenwriter and novelist serves up an “addictive” anthology of short stories (Andrew Kaplan, author of the Homeland novels).
A larger-than-life character before picking up the pen, Ib Melchior fought the Nazis as a counterintelligence officer and decoded Shakespeare’s tomb. He was an actor in Paris and a Nordic student of Viking history. He honed his craft at the dawn of television’s “golden age” in the 1950s, imagining the realms beyond as a writer and director of some of the most memorable science-fiction cult films of the 1960s, including Robinson Crusoe on Mars and The Time Travelers.
In this rich volume, Melchior draws on all these life experiences to deliver a literary epicurean’s smorgasbord of short fiction—historical, speculative, and visionary. One story explores a woman’s reawakening in post-war Europe; others investigate the war zones of Iraq; expose the backstage havoc of a television quiz show; and cover the life-and-death challenge in a dystopian future—and more. Melchior serves up an addendum of “desserts” in which he reveals the inspiration for each story, from the debatable identity of the Bard, to a Gestapo dog, to Hans Christian Andersen. Featuring twenty-one stories in all, Melchior À La Carte “is more than a potpourri of delicacies—it is a feast of literary delights, reminiscent of the tales told by those master storytellers, Conrad and Maugham. In short . . . Melchior’s book is a must have” (S. L. Stebel, author of Spring Thaw).
“The Racer,” featured in this collection, was adapted twice for film as Death Race 2000 and Death Race.
“An extraordinary storyteller . . . always provocative and wise, as he lays out the stuff of which dreams are made.” —Mann Rubin, screenwriter of The Best of Everythin