This collection of works includes the novella The Redward Edward Papers, along with five short stories.
Delicatessen was painted in faded, faded, ornate letters on the store window, and a battered metal sign advertised a well-known soft drink. Edward had never been in the place before, but the instant he entered he recognized it as an archetype. Such places are always owned by men named Hans or Ernest and have splintery wooden floors which are swept an average of once every quarter of an hour. They smell very strongly of vinegar and have very little on display in the way of wares - on top of the glass display case, a large pickle jar, usually almost empty, inside the case a small piece of cheese, a small end of roast beef and a small end of ham, perhaps one knackwurst, a pint of salad, and some rye bread. In that part of the establishment referred to by Ernest or Hans as The Back is the beer, the soft drinks, the stove on which the coffee is made To Go. One winces at the small resources on or out of which Erny is obliged to sustain life, one goes on wincing for ten, twenty, thirty years, wondering if Erny is ever going to be able to make enough money to afford a large piece of roast beef, an entire ham, or a whole rye bread. And then one day Erny isn't there any more and one learns that he has retired and moved to Florida where, in partnership with his brother-in-law, a retired plumbing contractor from New Brunswick or Queens, he now owns and operates three motels, a liquor license, a restaurant, and an all-night grocery. Never again will one hear Erny's inimitable conversation, to wit:
"What can I do for you "...
The odor of vinegar was very sharp. The man behind the counter had scant hair around his head and abundant flesh around his jaws. "You are the Grand Logothete", said Edward. This time, so sharp and so strong the odor of vinegar that he never smelled the mandragore at all, even after he went blind and before he lost consciousness...
Avram Davidson (1923 - 1993)
Avram Davidson was born in New York in 1923 and was active in SF fandom from his teens. He is remembered as a writer of fantasy fiction, science fiction and crime fiction, as well as many stories that defy easy categorisation. Among his SF and Fantasy awards are two Hugos, two World Fantasy Awards and a World Fantasy Life Achievement award; he also won a Queen's Award and an Edgar Award in the mystery genre. Although best known for his writing, Davidson also edited The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction from 1962 to 1964. He died in 1993.
For more information see www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/davidson_avram