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Imaginary Lands (Damar)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  487 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Book by McKinley, Robin
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published April 1st 1986 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1985)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Althea Ann
Imaginary Lands - Robin McKinley, ed.

I expected to like this anthology a lot more than I did. Many of the authors are ones that I greatly like and respect; and a couple of the entries were excellent - but others fell a bit flat, to me.

• James P. Blaylock. Paper Dragons. 1985
This story had a bit too much of the classic 'tall tale' to it for my taste. Those who enjoy that sort of thing may love it, but it just wasn't for me.

• Patricia A. McKillip. The Old Woman and the Storm. 1985
This was
Apr 30, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I really struggled through this anthology. I picked it up because of McKinley's name on the cover. I love Robin McKinley, but this book makes me embarrased for her and several of the authors who contributed. Some of the stories felt like they were just trying so hard to make the setting of the story the focal point that the actual story was completely lost or irrelevant. Most of them did not include enough character development to make the characters matter to the reader and very few of them hel ...more
Maureen E
edited by Robin McKinley

This the second time I've read this anthology. Oddly enough, I think I liked it more this time around. There were still a few stories I wasn't as wild about. But "Flight" by Peter Dickinson, "The Old Woman and the Storm" by Patricia McKillip, and "The Stone Fey" by Robin McKinley herself were all, in my opinion, excellent. They were also, interestingly enough, the stories which I felt best fulfilled the stated mission of the book: "the stories...must have a particularly s
A collection of stories . . . some are good. Not a super-strong collection.
I enjoyed this collection of short stories which had a particular focus on setting.

James P Blaylock, Paper Dragons - this is an odd steam punk story about a man who watches his neighbour's attempt to build a mechanical dragon, and gets caught up in the stories about a famous vivisector who combines animal parts and machinery to create new creatures; also, his other neighbour is an observer of sea life.
Patricia A. McKillip, The Old Woman and the Storm - an allegory set in prehistoric times, about
Stephen Case
My wife brought this anthology home because it was edited by her favorite author. I've never been enthralled by McKinley myself, but I recognized several of the authors in this collection and decided to give it a chance. Also, my wife made the task easier by marking those stories she felt were particularly enjoyable. So, my caveat to this review is that I've actually only read 5/9ths of the entire volume.

The highpoint for me was "Flight" by Peter Dickinson, which was quite wonderful. It was a we
Jul 03, 2010 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story collection, Robin McKinley edited and contributed one story (The Stone Fey, which is also available separately).

It wasn't really great. I think I was expecting stories more like Robin's but they weren't really. A couple were the weird, surreal stories that seem to think themselves cool or highly literary when they leave the reader going "Huh? Was that based on half an odd dream, or what?" that you find in fantasy collections but never make it as books. I wouldn't have considered it a gre
Feb 25, 2009 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
On the whole, I was a little disappointed by this short story collection; I had high expectations of an anthology, edited by McKinley, but none of the stories other than McKinley's own "The Stone Fey" particularly resonated with me. And if you want to read "The Stone Fey", I'd recommend the stand-alone illustrated version.

Still three stars, though. A disappointing McKinley collection is still better than most collections.
Unit of Raine
Blah. Wasn't really in the mood. I mainly chose this book for the Darian short story. And it was poorly written. Which hasn't inspired me to read any of the other stories in the collection. Thank goodness for library books ...
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
None of the stories in here were very appealing to me. Though some of them might appeal to other readers, or even to me in a different mood. I mainly got this from the library because I was mildly surprised that Robin McKinley had edited an anthology.
Jul 19, 2016 Reilly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really read this book to read McKinley's short story about Damar which was SO intriguing and had such a solid, original ending. The other stories were good and, from a teaching perspective, had excellent descriptive paragraphs/"snapshots" to use for instruction.
So the story in this anthology that has haunted me forever is for some reason "The Big Rock Candy Mountain." I don't even remember what the story was about fully except that it was an underground land where everything was coated with salt crystals, including a man and a horse.
I may have read this when it came out -- many of the stories were familiar, although not the one I liked best, by Robert Westall.
Mar 28, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
Books like this are great for finding new authors and new "worlds." I'm already making a list of existing lands that I would like to futher explore!
"The Stone Fey" is enchanting as always. The rest of the short stories were just okay.
Lisa Rathbun
Not one I want my kids to read until they're older. Very well written, very interesting, they pull you in completely.
Lucianna Mee
Feb 04, 2011 Lucianna Mee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An anthology of short stories by various writers.
Sep 21, 2007 elissa rated it liked it
A nice collection of fantasy stories (and SF?--not sure), edited by McKinley.
Sep 22, 2011 Beka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy most of these stories, but a couple of them were enjoyable.
Dec 03, 2008 Lisette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read nothing else in here, read Peter Dickinson's contribution. You don't know irony until you've read "Flight." Dryly hilarious, in a pseudo-dry-as-dust-history kind of way.
Oct 16, 2011 Adrian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know that this book existed but randomly ran across it in the library. Short story collection compiled by Robin McKinley from 1986. I enjoyed it but probably won't read it again.
Oct 15, 2009 Magda rated it it was ok
I thought I would enjoy this more than I did.
Sheri Larsen
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Born in her mother's hometown of Warren, Ohio, Robin McKinley grew up an only child with a father in the United States Navy. She moved around frequently as a child and read copiously; she credits this background with the inspiration for her stories.

Her passion for reading was one of the most constant things in her childhood, so she began to remember events, places, and time periods by what books
More about Robin McKinley...

Other Books in the Series

Damar (4 books)
  • The Blue Sword (Damar, #1)
  • The Hero and the Crown (Damar, #2)
  • A Pool in the Desert

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“It doesn't matter if I'm only to be gone four days, as in this case; I take six months' supply of reading material everywhere. Anyone who needs further explication of this eccentricity can find it usefully set out in the first pages of W. Somerset Maugham's story "The Book-Bag.” 22 likes
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