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Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  16 reviews
At times literary, at other times surreal, this collection offers an eclectic group of stories that deal with real-life conflicts, human values, and coming-of-age experiences all placed within fantastical settings. One tale recounts the author's search for a Kafka story that can only be found in an elusive and quite possibly cursed edition. Other stories feature humans dre ...more
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Golden Gryphon Press
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Community Reviews

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Maureen
a reliable source sent me a video of jeffrey ford reading his story from his forthcoming collection (this summer!), Crackpot Palace: Stories and i thought i should investigate. when i finally found him shelved in a bookstore, this, i bought it -- they didn't have the other i'd marked to-read first The Empire of Ice Cream, because a) there was ice cream in the title, b) i wondered if it was inspired by the wallace stevens poem called "the emperor of ice cream" and c) it came with an introduction ...more
Richard
“Creation” is about what it says it’s about: A young boy undergoing religious training gives in to an impulse to create as God did, and succeeds…after a fashion. The rest of the story concerns the aftermath and the young boy coming to terms with the implications and responsibilities of his action. It’s one of Ford’s better known stories, and I’ve even heard claims that it “transcends genre fantasy.” Sorry, no. This is what fantasy does. It’s the fun-house mirror that we hold up so we can see our ...more
Jessica
Loved the first few stories but was put off by the title story, "The Fantasy Writer's Assistant." I guess it all depends on your perspective: is a middle-aged fantasy writer creating a false universe for a slim, bookish 17-year-old girl charming, or creepy? Clearly Jeffrey Ford and his fans think the former. And maybe I'm over-sensitive on this point; I've always found Alice in Wonderland vaguely icky. But the smugness of the ending--the fantasy writer was the puppeteer all along! and the girl w ...more
Jim
Ford writes like an avuncular, wide-eyed, big-hearted mystic and these stories are so full of exuberant imagination that they sometimes trip over themselves. Despite the stumbles, I was inspired by the mixture of autobiography and Borgesian fantasy in "The Honeyed Knot" and "Bright Morning." Reading "The Honeyed Knot" alone made me reconsider a career in teaching writing. Ford professes composition at a community college and draws deeply on his classroom experience in the story, which he claims ...more
Lane
This may be the most expensive book in my recent Amazon spree. $2.98.
I've read Ford's two newest novels, but until searching the used books on Amazon, was unable to track down any of his earlier stuff. I liked The Girl in the Glass and The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, but I like his short stories much better, probably because they tend more towards fantasy and sci-fi than his recent novels. I'm looking forward to reading the Physiognomy, especially since it is somewhat based on The Delicate, fou
...more
Wordwizard
Really interesting, actually. I found this on a shelf in the Oberlin Public Library and picked it up just for kicks. Turns out I discovered a really cool author I'd never heard of before. He's like a cross between Bradbury and Diane Duane, with a little bit of Heinlein thrown in.

My favorite stories in this collection were "The Honeyed Knot," "The Fantasy Writer's Assistant," and the one with the little girl and her uncle. I thought it was pretty clever in another one how the narrator was a succe
...more
Jim Wolfe
Estupenda colección de relatos cortos. Completamente alejada de la fantasía tradicional, con toque kafkianos y lovecraftianos, pero inquietantemente original. Ganador del Premio Mundial de Fantasía como mejor colección de relatos del 2003.
Ekib
The stories stretched my concept of what fantasy is and can be, taking it out of the usual glacial lakes/forested mountains/sword wielding/Middle Earth business, and I'm glad. They seem to come at their respective narratives from all sorts of strange angles, and the genre blending was expertly done. Ford is self-effacing and has a refreshingly down-to-earth prose style.
Joe
Jeffrey Ford is unforgettable, and inarguably my new favorite short story writer. Truly impeccable short stories, ranging from very atypical high fantasy to slipstream, historical fiction, and magical realism based on his own experiences teaching. Ford is on his way to greatness, heed my words.
Fang Mcgee
Lucid, Kafka-sequel fever dreams; an awe-inspiring delight.
Adam
Impossibly good collection of short fiction equal mix of wistful and sad and surreal and menacing. Elements of scifi, fantasy, aubiography, absurdism in the style of an American Borges.
Gareth
Collection of Jeffrey Ford's older stories (up to about 2003), one of my favourite authors, mixture of unsettling, weird stories and uplifting fables.
Andrew Johnson
Ford's writing is some of the most vivid I've ever encountered. Each of these stories is worth a read, and some of them are worth several.
John
An amazing collection of short stories, the best of which tell the most strange, far-flung, fantastical stories with pathos and humanity.
Joe English
Reading Jeffrey Ford is like dreaming while awake.
Robin
Can I add more stars?
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Jeffrey Ford is an American writer in the Fantastic genre tradition, although his works have spanned genres including Fantasy, Science Fiction and Mystery. His work is characterized by a sweeping imaginative power, humor, literary allusion, and a fascination with tales told within tales. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he studied with the novelist John Gar ...more
More about Jeffrey Ford...
The Shadow Year The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque The Girl in the Glass Physiognomy The Empire of Ice Cream

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