John Collier

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John Collier (3 May 1901 – 6 April 1980) was a British-born writer and screenwriter best known for his short stories, many of which appeared in The New Yorker from the 1930s to the 1950s.


All page numbers are from the mass market paperback edition published by Bantam Books (catalogue# F1703) in December 1957; there have been many editions of the book
See the book's Wikipedia page for original publication details
Won the 1952 International Fantasy Award
  • Franklin Fletcher dreamed of luxury in the form of tiger-skins and beautiful women. He was prepared, at a pinch, to forgo the tiger-skins. Unfortunately the beautiful women seemed equally rare and inaccessible.
    • Bottle Party (p. 1)
  • “To listen,” said little Guis, “is to be drunk without spending a penny. You think you understand; you seem to fly through the air; you have to burst out laughing.”
    • Witch’s Money (p. 29)
  • Selfishness and greed,” said he, “have made the world what it is today.”
    • Three Bears Cottage (p. 59)
  • He knew that I was impressed, but I knew that he wished to impress me. This made us even, except of course that he still had the money.
    • Pictures in the Fire (p. 64)
  • Take a friendly word of advice. You don't want to make pictures. It’s nothing but worry. Besides, you'll get mixed up with a lot of actors.
    • Pictures in the Fire (p. 67)
  • I reflected that where vanity of that sort is to be found on one side of a contract there is always hope on the other.
    • Pictures in the Fire (p. 73)
  • There is no bore like a despairing lover.
    • Halfway to Hell (p. 88)
  • “That does not take you to Hell,” said Louis, “but only to Barons Court. The mistake is pardonable.”
    • Halfway to Hell (p. 90)
  • Alice and Irwin were as simple and as happy as any young couple in a family-style motion picture. In fact, they were even happier, for people were not looking at them all the time and their joys were not restricted by the censorship code.
    • Over Insurance (p. 105)
  • She was complete in every particular, and all of the highest quality; she was a picture gallery, an anthology of the poets, a precipitation of all that has ever been dreamed of love: her goodly eyes like Saphyres shining bright, her forehead yvory white, her cheeks lyke apples which the sun hath rudded, her lips lyke cherryes charming men to bite, her brest lyke to a bowle of creame uncrudded, her paps lyke a lyllies budded, her snowie neck lyke to a marble towre; and all her body like a pallace fayre, ascending up, with many a stately stayre, to honours seat and chastities sweet bowre.
    • The Devil, George, and Rosie (p. 146; all spelling as in the book)
  • “Pray, sir,” said she, “tell me only, where am I?”
    “Why, in Hell, to be sure,” said he, with a hearty laugh.
    “Oh, thank goodness!” cried she. “I thought I was in Buenos Aires.”
    • The Devil, George, and Rosie (p. 147)
  • Now, producers are known to be God-like creatures, and the chief point of resemblance is that they must either create new stars or have no public.
    • Gavin O’Leary (p. 191)
  • It is a sad reflection on life that when there is only one thing to do it is always extremely unpleasant.
    • Sleeping Beauty (p. 289)
  • “You lovers,” said his companion, “are surprised by nothing, except first that your mistress should fancy you, and next, that they should fancy someone else.”
    • The Right Side (p. 327)
  • “Humphrey, dear,” she said, “we hear you’ve become famous. Is it true?”
    “It's true if you've heard it,” he replied. “That's what fame is.”
    • Youth from Vienna (p. 345)
  • “I hope all your mixtures are not as expensive,” said Alan apprehensively.
    “Oh, dear, no,” said the old man. “It would be no good charging you that sort of price for a love potion, for example. Young people who need a love potion very seldom have five thousand dollars. Otherwise they would not need a love potion.”
    • The Chaser (p. 373)