Wonders of the Invisible World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Wonders of the Invisible World

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  433 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Stylistically rooted in fairy tale and mythology, imperceptible landscapes are explored in these opulent stories from a beloved fantasy icon. There are princesses dancing with dead suitors, a knight in love with an official of exotic lineage, and fortune’s fool stealing into the present instead of the future. In one mesmerizing tale, a time-traveling angel is forbidden to...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 26th 2012 by Tachyon Publications (first published September 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanFragile Things by Neil GaimanThe Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyThe Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna ClarkeThe Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
Best Fantasy Short Story Collections
60th out of 197 books — 163 voters
Wicked Lovely by Melissa MarrThe Iron King by Julie KagawaTithe by Holly BlackDarkfever by Karen Marie MoningWings by Aprilynne Pike
Books about Faery
287th out of 706 books — 1,575 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,673)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The story that gives the title (and opens) this collection is a bit atypical for the author, as it includes time travel. Future scientists go back to the past in order to study and understand our ancestors. The destination is the house of a preacher from Salem, introducing one of the recurrent themes of the collection: the oppression of women through history by men who are afraid of granting them equal status:

He lay in the dim lights and fluttering shadows, in the long, long night of history, w...more
So what we’ve got here is a collection of mostly-fantasy short stories that left me shaking my fist at the sky and howling, “Dammit Patricia McKillip, must you be so awesome?”

Because she just writes so. goddamn. well. and every story is crammed full of the kind of detail that made me fall in love with Riddlemaster, and I plowed through the entire book in an embarrassingly short time.

I personally wasn’t 100% sold on a few of them, including “The Kelpie,” which everyone else on Goodreads seems to...more
I have read Patricia Mckillip’s novels before, I am certain of that but for some reason, I did not remember just how fantastic her world weaving and wordsmithery really are. Wonders of the Invisible World satisfies on so many levels that had I the time, I would have reviewed each story in the anthology because each story deserves careful, individual attention. As it is, unfortunately, I do not have the time so I shall focus on a few favourites.

“Wonders of the Invisible World”

This story is a fant...more
M.C. Hana
I inaugurated my new tablet with a library download of this anthology before I buy my traditional hardcopy version.

Patricia McKillip is one of the few writers whose works I will buy off the shelf, no questions asked. While good old J.R.R. Tolkien might have instigated my fantasy reading at age 10, McKillip set it in stone half a decade later. 'The Forgotten Beasts of Eld' was the first paperback I ordered and paid for by myself. The 'Riddlemaster' trilogy made me begin thinking about writing. 'T...more
McKillip's earlier works remain among my steadfast favorites, and I was happy to pick up her prior collection of short stories, Harrowing the Dragon, and devour it. Unfortunately, the first story in this one started with a time-traveler posing as an angel in front of Cotton Mather. It's difficult to think of a less interesting premise (from my perspective), and I ended up neglecting this book for months.

I have to say that McKillip's shorter fiction strikes me as more literary than her novels, wh...more
I was thrilled when I found out there was a new Patricia McKillip book recently released; then mildly disappointed when I found out it was a collection of previously published short stories. Not that I had read any of the stories yet, but generally, I enjoy McKillip's novels more than her short stories.

Much to my surprise, the stories in Wonders of the Invisible World were truly wonders, and rose to the heights of some of McKillip's best writing. This gifted artist paints literary landscapes ac...more
Tabitha (Pabkins)
Exquisitely written with destinations beyond your imagining!

Reviewed @ My Shelf Confessions

Patricia A. McKillip is a master of the written word! Wonders of the Invisible World is my first foray into her delightful imagination and it will not be the last! I am a lover of short stories. In my mind it takes as much skill if not more to write a successfully engaging short story then to write a novel. This is because the short has so few words within it to paint pictures and make you fall in love wit...more
Kathy Davie
An anthology of sixteen short stories about fey, magic, and fairytales with an introduction by Charles de Lindt and an essay on what inspires McKillip.

My Take
This was a mixed bag of huh-what and wonderful. Sadly, McKillip says she has come to the end of this type of fey story. If she is, then she's gone out with a whisper and not a bang.

The Stories
"Wonders of the Invisible World" is time traveling science fiction with a researcher wanting Cotton Mather's emotions. It's a quick blip into two worl...more
Kasey Jane
This book reads like a Pre-Raphaelite painting.

(view spoiler)...more
‘Wonders of the Invisible World’ by Patricia A. McKellip is a collection of 16 stories, started by an introduction by Charles de Lint and completed by a short of ‘What Inspires Me’, a Guest of Honour speech given at WisCon 2004.

With the first piece and the collection itself named for a book written by Cotton Mather in 1693, it ties the short story nicely to reality and adds a taste of science fiction, a fitting start to the collection.

From there we see a woman taken in by magic, and how painters...more
Mini-Review: "Wonders of the Invisible World" by Patricia A. McKillip

Wonders of the Invisible World is a collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors. As in her full-length novels, Patricia McKillip's language is exquisite. She uses a poetic and ethereal tone that left me more and more enchanted with every page I turned. Wonders of the Invisible World is a bit different from Patricia McKillip's usual style. Many of the tales in this collection explore darker themes than her novels,...more
I really like Patricia McKillip, but I was sort of underwhelmed by this book of short stories. I'm very aware of what a short story is supposed to be in literature, sometimes they're a bit more like poetry than they are novels since there is a lot of interpretation and symbolism. However, that is my least favorite aspect of short stories and I usually prefer the type that are a bit more like small, contained pieces of a story. I also wasn't super into the message of most of (all of?) the stories...more
Mary Miller
I usually don't read short story collections. They are often uneven in quality and I prefer a longer format. But Patricia McKillip is an author I particularly admire, so I gave her recent story collection a read.
As I expected, the quality of the stories varies quite a bit. Some held my interest and made me yearn to read more, while a few are less than enchanting. But, o the ones that sing! I was particularly taken by "The Knight of the Well", one of the longer stories. It has a mystical underpin...more
Rachel Welton
My relationship with Patricia McKillip has always been a bit odd. There are those moments where her infatuation with movement, color, and adjectives fly so far away from actual linear prose, I feel that she's going into fairyland and I can't follow. Other times, I underestimate her entirely, because the stories she writes are so entirely, exactly like wandering around the landscape of my own mind-- the sort of stories I would write if I could write stories-- that I'm both satisfied and faintly b...more
Reading this book was like swimming with dolphins or finding a rainbow in your garden. The sense of wonder, the poetry of McKillip's sentences, the beautiful sense of stories still untold, all just sweep me away from the mundane world. I always grab her books at the first chance. This one did not disappoint. I particularly liked The Kelpie and Knight of the Well, but you will find your own jewels here. So---what are you dawdling for? Go grab it for yourself and ride the tide to Faerie!
3.5 stars. patricia mckillip is one of many authors whom i first encountered (and fell in love with) as a child; i think i've read almost every single one of her books since then, and of all the authors i've known and loved i think it's her prose - lyrical, elliptical, sumptuously magical - that i have most often wished to emulate myself. the older i get, the more bothered i am with certain fantasy presuppositions (why are 99% of your characters white, patricia mckillip?????), but there's certai...more
Patricia McKillip is one of my favorite writers of fantasy. Many of the stories in this collection, written over the last decade or so, were previously published in YA anthologies; none are original to Wonders of the Invisible World, though nearly all were well worth re-reading for me. I hope she has another novel on the way.
Jamie Henderson
This was an interesting collection and I overall enjoyed reading it. Many of the pieces are short, flash-type pieces and almost all of those are delightful. McKillip is a great writer and has really intriguing and beautiful ideas. However, several of the short stories struck me as interesting stories that I was somewhat slogging through because of the pacing of the story-telling. That being said, the later, longer short stories were wonderful. I haven't read much McKillip, but from this collecti...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Oct 01, 2012 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides marked it as maybe-read-sometime
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: GR monthly e-mail
Is that a Tom Canty cover I see before me? Why yes ... yes it is!
Laura de Leon
Loved, loved, loved these stories.

Review coming later.
A time traveler with angel’s wings sent to manipulate the past, a kelpie: part-horse river creature who carries women on its back and drowns them in the deep water, a haunted wood where the young boy in a long-dead family invites a girl to leave with him forever, a will o’ the wisp who pretends to be a boy in the Halloween woods, an ominous twist on the tale of 12 dancing princesses, and a lost undine trapped in a human world—these are just a few of the magical short stories to be found in Wonde...more
Althea Ann
I forgot my book at work, and needed to buy something for the commute home. If I'm going to pay full price for something, it's going to have to be in support of an author I love: thus, this book.

Excellent, excellent stories - but I was disappointed, a bit, that I'd read most of them before. There's no previously-unpublished material here, except for the transcript of a speech McKillip gave at a con.

Wonders of the Invisible World - A bit of a strange choice for an opener, as it's a bit atypical o...more
This book is a collection of short stories, written by the always amazing Patricia A. McKillip. It includes an introduction by Charles de Lint (one of my favorite authors), and it ends with a Guest of Honor Speech McKillip gave at WisCon 2004.

I've said this before in other reviews, I think, but it won't hurt saying again: she is my favorite author and every single time I read her, I wonder at her talent and the way she creates worlds and paintings with her words. Most of all, she has a special...more
Alisa Hedden
Award winning author Patricia A McKillip has brought us a collection of her short stories, conveniently packaged all together, instead of having to hunt through and collect numerous anthologies in search of her treasures. The treasures in this collection range from retellings of old classics, as in the case of the “Twelve Dancing Princesses” to reimagining’s as in the case of “Undine” and “Kelpie” all the way to straight fiction, as demonstrated in “Xmas Cruise”.
Included in this collection are:...more
Oct 18, 2012 J.A. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to J.A. by: Tachyon Publications
I owe Charlene Brusso of Tachyon Publications for bringing Wonders of the Invisible World into my line of sight. I contacted her about getting an advance copy of The Emperor’s Soul, a new book by Brandon Sanderson, which she graciously sent me. Then she asked if I would like advances of two collections: Wonders of the Invisible World and Epic. I answered in the affirmative and she sent them along as well. I’m grateful for her suggestion, as I wouldn’t have picked them up otherwise. This cover ar...more
Dec 13, 2012 Kate added it
Shelves: 2012
Every so often I try to read some straight sci-fi/fantasy because I read comics, I was all up in Dragondrums and such many years ago, it just makes sense. However I can't seem to get past something in fantasy in particular: the reassuring, knowing nod that the narrator seems to make on a regular basis, like, "Aren't we having fun? Isn't it cute that I threw in this wacky detail?" like a character with a funny name or some kind of self-congratulatory silliness. The stories in this book are more i...more
I've read McKillip before - the Hed series in my youth and the most recent I remember 'ombria in shadow'. Over that stretch of time I've liked most of her work, so when I saw her name on the spine, I snagged it from the library 'new book' shelf. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I've been able to read through this collection of short stories - even read one out loud with my daughter, and I can honestly say it's a wonderful collection. Also honestly, I didnt' like all of the stories, but I find that'...more
Kate  K. F.
I discovered Patricia McKillip this year when I read Bards of the Bone Plains on the train ride to ALA Annual and loved it. McKillip caught a lot of what I love best about fantasy, a sense of place, surreality and characters I cared deeply about. I've been hearing wonderful things about this collection and was curious to read it. The stories were more urban fantasy than straight fantasy and overall enjoyable.

I think this would be a good book to act as an introduction for someone who isn't famil...more
A few gems, but overall an average collection of short stories. Strangely the writing style is not the dream-like prose that I expect from enjoying Patricia McKillip's stories in other anthologies.
Mary Catelli
A collection of her short stories, in her exquisite, gemlike prose singing of wonders.

The weakest one is, I think, the opening one, "Wonders of the Invisible World," because the singing prose does not work so wonderfully when dealing with fakes, even in places. But the rest all unleash it on wonders and marvels and enchantments. Some of the shorter ones are more mood pieces than stories, but conjure up exquisite little scenes, and the longer ones are definitely stories.

Some are set in the contem...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 55 56 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Epic: Legends of Fantasy
  • Errantry: Strange Stories
  • The Melancholy of Mechagirl
  • The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth (The Unreal and the Real, #1)
  • At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories
  • Somewhere Beneath Those Waves
  • Jagannath
  • Sleight of Hand
  • The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales
  • Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
  • The Essential Bordertown (Borderland, #4)
  • Shoggoths in Bloom and other stories
  • Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction
  • The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities
  • In the Forest of Forgetting
  • Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • Redemption in Indigo
  • Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy
Patricia Anne McKillip is an American author of fantasy and science fiction novels, distinguished by lyrical, delicate prose and careful attention to detail and characterization. She is a past winner of the World Fantasy Award and Locus Award, and she lives in Oregon. Most of her recent novels have cover paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft. She is married to David Lunde, a poet.

According to Fantasy Book...more
More about Patricia A. McKillip...
Riddle-Master: The Complete Trilogy (Riddle-Master, #1-3) The Forgotten Beasts of Eld The Riddle-Master of Hed (Riddle-Master, #1) Winter Rose (Winter Rose, #1) Heir of Sea and Fire (Riddle-Master, #2)

Share This Book

“Research the imagination. It was as obsolete as the appendix in most adults, except for those in whom, like the appendix, it became inflamed for no reason.” 0 likes
More quotes…