Quickly: THE SHAPE OF THE FINAL DOG AND OTHER STORIES by Hampton Fancher

Another rush job. I’m dedicated to putting something here every day, so sometimes you’ll have to endure these flash card-length installments. Or not. But I hope you do, because I like a lot of things and think there are too many bloggers and critics who just bitch. If I’m putting it here, the unstated summary is always “You should give this book/album/movie a look, it’s good.”

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Hampton Fancher is one of those guys you might not have heard much about, but he’s lived quite a life. Went to school, went off to Spain to become a flamenco dancer, became an actor, hung out with interesting folks, and wrote the script to BLADE RUNNER.

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He came back to the production to do a final polish on the David W. Peoples script.

He also co-wrote BLADE RUNNER 2049, making him one of the prime behind-the-scenes movers of this duo of movies along with Ridley Scott. Being a writer, though, he doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves for maintaining the themes and tone between the two films.

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There is a documentary about Fancher coming out soon. Until then, you might give his short stories a shot. THE SHAPE OF THE FINAL DOG AND OTHER STORIES is in the tradition of so many current mainstream fabulists–a strange situation, quirky characters, and an ending that is inconclusive. But unlike some of the more famous New Yorker writers of today, Fancher brings an ability to make these quirky characters both interesting and lifelike.

“The Black Weasel” follows a man from New York back to his broken-down family home, accompanied by a silent, perhaps mentally-handicapped black man he decides to use as a sideshow freak. It doesn’t work out, and the two end up no better off. And then the story ends. What’ll happen next? (A few stories later there’s “The Black Weasel, II,” that’s what.)

“Rat Hall Jack” has an unusual, Lynchian love story between a beautiful model and a guy who lives in a house with a snake he believes has some mythic significance. He pushes the model away, they reunited. And then the story ends.

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Fancher’s stories move along and hold the interest of this overly-caffeinated writer.

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You should read this book. I have to get back to writing mine.

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Published by

John Stephen Walsh

Writer of neo-noir (The Ruthless Son), end of the world/quasi-zombie horror (The Year of Silent Light), humor (Ebollionaire), and a short story collection (Love Has A Taste) on Kindle. Have worked in social services, retail, video, etc. etc. I love movies, film scores, and painting poorly.

2 thoughts on “Quickly: THE SHAPE OF THE FINAL DOG AND OTHER STORIES by Hampton Fancher”

  1. Very good write up and I dig your plan to put something up there everyday. Those stories sound interesting. I dig The Minus Man which he directed and did the screenplay. He sounds like one of those quirky outsiders who inhabit the interesting fringe of Hollywood and literature.

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    1. I thought MINUS MAN was a different spin on the idea, but felt it kind of ambled a little too much. Still worth seeing because of the fresh take. I read about him years ago and he’s one of those people (we all have them) in movies/writing I keep on the lookout for. Whenever he talks he lets out interesting bits like how the actress Barbara Hershey gave him one of the ideas for Rachel in BLADE RUNNER. You should check these stories out, definitely up your alley, very moody like your writing.

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