Since you just mentioned your forthcoming poll in the introduction to Episode 10, I thought I'd jump the gun and look ahead to what stories you'll cover between Operation ARES and The Fifth Head of Cerberus. I know this is decided by your patreons at the $5/level or higher, which is sadly beyond my budget; but I thought I'd mouth off here anyway, and maybe you can use this as a tiebreak or something.
The poll isn't out yet, so I don't know what the options will be. You've already done a bunch of 1970 stories (going by the WolfeWiki chronological listing), and the three component novellas of The Fifth Head of Cerberus are all 1972. But there aren't all that many 1971 stories. So I'm going to guess that the options are the 1971 stories & the non-Fifth Head stories from 1972. Assuming that that's the case...
Of that set, the ones I would be quite disappointed if you didn't cover are:
• The Toy Theater (much analyzed, in the best-of volume, great short tale)
• Alien Stones (one of Wolfe's great and to my mind underrated novellas)
The ones I'd also vote for:
• Three Million Square Miles (I don't understand it but it's stuck with me—thereby passing the test Wolfe himself suggested in the intro to Book of Days—and I'd love to hear you talk about it)
• Beech Hill (because I was surprised to see this in the Best-Of collection; it wasn't one that stood out to me, and I want to know what I've missed, and also want an excuse to reread it)
• The Headless Man (because it seems trite but I suspect I'm missing something)
• The Recording (because Wolfe quotes Asimov's comment on it, but I strongly suspect that *Asimov* is missing something. Also in best-of.)
You probably won't do it because it's uncollected but:
• It's Very Clean (I've never read this one; it's uncollected. But the WolfeWiki summary makes it sound interestingly engaged with some of Wolfe's themes—robots, sex, purity)
Overall, I think that the best-of contents should be an automatic include; but that's just me.
So those are my two cents. But since I have only two cents, not five dollars, to spare, you should of course fell entirely free to ignore, with no hard feelings.
I'm sure we'd be happy to take these suggestions into account.
Glenn is right, I don't like Beech Hill, but maybe a re-read will do us all some good. I recall "The Recording" feeling a little slight to me. Asimov's comment may just be referring to the fact that it is just a straightforward story. Perhaps it is also worth a deeper investigation.
This is wonderful. We love covering Wolfe's stories, but there is also the ever-present Siren call of the Solar Cycle, which we're eager to get to, so covering only half the stories (and the collected stories, at that) made sense to us. But we're quite pleased with ourselves for having devised a system that will place the burden of selecting which stories squarely on the shoulders of others. I'll post a complete list of the stories that will be on the ballot below. I want to remain neutral in the process, of course, except to say that Brandon doesn't like "Beech Hill," and that seems like a good reason to vote for it, at least to this mischief-maker(!).
And we now know for sure that we'll run the poll on Patreon between January 7th and 12th, as we have our recording schedule set for the next few months.
Slaves of Silver - Storeys from the Old Hotel
Sweet Forest Maid - Endangered Species
The Blue Mouse - Castle of Days
The Toy Theater - The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories/ The Best of Gene Wolfe
Three Million Square Miles - Castle of Days
Against the Lafayette Escadrille - Castle of Days
Alien Stones - The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories
Beech Hill - Storeys from the Old Hotel/Best of Gene Wolfe
The Headless Man - Endangered Species
The Recording - Storeys from the Old Hotel/Best of Gene Wolfe