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Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction
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Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction (Firebirds #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,720 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Firebirds is more than simply an anthology -- it is a celebration of wonderful writing. It gathers together sixteen original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. Together, they have won virtually every major prize -- from the National Book Award to the World Fantasy Award to the Newbery Medal -- and have made best-seller lists worldwide ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 5th 2005 by Firebird (first published September 29th 2003)
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Best Anthologies
25th out of 565 books — 577 voters
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanFragile Things by Neil GaimanThe Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyThe Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna ClarkeDragon Eaters by Janet E. Morris
Best Fantasy Short Story Collections
36th out of 235 books — 249 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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(DISCLAIMER): I know that in the past I have fervently asserted my hatred of short stories . . . I’m sorry! I usually do REALLY dislike short stories, but this time is different – they are “Fantasy” short stories – delicious!
(5 stars) "Cotillion" by Delia Sherman: I really liked this one. It was a retelling of the story of Tam Lin. Celia is attending her debutante ball, in 1969, when she meets an intriguing young man by the name of Valentine. But he is much more than he appears. And Celia might
A collection of powerful, moving short stories by lots of great authors. Here's a list of the stories:

Cotillion - Celia meets the most wonderful guy at her debutante party. Trouble is, he has a dark secret only Celia can save him from. Very vivid imagery.

The Baby in the Night Deposit Box - Penny was left at the bank as a baby. She lives at the bank and doesn't go anywhere else. Can she save her town and real parents from an evil sorceress? I liked this one, especially the ending; it was short an
As with all short story anthologies, it's a little hit or miss. Some of the stories are amazing, some are ho hum. I particularly liked The Baby in the Night Deposit Box, by Megan Whalen Turner. Also good: Max Mondrosch, by the inimitable Lloyd Alexander, and Garth Nix's disturbing yet wonderful Hope Chest.
I'm still looking for my Sgt. Pepper's of Young Adult short story collections. I need one that's hit after hit after hit. ... Does that book exist?

This was the closest I've come to what I'm looking for, but it's still not the book. Some stories had themes I wouldn't feel comfortable with having my 7th graders read, and a couple other stories just dragged. I about ditched the book half way through "Little Dot" - a story about a cat who could talk to a wizard and had no point whatsoever. (Maybe I'
The Scarlet Pervygirl
If for whatever reason you want to do the exact reverse of the thing that patriarchy does all the time and introduce yourself to a particular genre (fantasy literature, in this case, but it works with, oh, art and history and politics and sex and love as well) while pretending that it is exclusively the domain of women, this book will provide you with everything you need for getting as rich and full an experience as you would get doing it any other way.
I loved these stories. I don't read many short stories, but have been asked to contribute to an anthology. These are like small jewels, each complete and perfect in itself.
I'm going to be honest, most of these stories are simply 'okay'. There are not very many that stood out to me, and there weren't many that we painfully awful either. In fact, I don't think any of these were so bad that I stopped reading it. Well, maybe one or two of them.

My favorites were Little Dot, Beauty, Flotsam, Baby in the Deposit Box, and Mariposa.
My least favorites were Black Fox and Hope Chest.

The other ones were decent at best, some were more mediocre than others and some I just don't
The Baby in the Night Deposite Box by Nancy Whalen Turner
This is a story about baby Penny, who one night is dropped into a bank's night deposite box. When the bank manager/owner comes into work the next morning he finds the baby in with the rest of the deposites and decided that it is the banks responsibility to raise her. In this short story we watch as Penny grows from a young baby to a young adult. It didn't have much fantasy in it until the very end. For me it ended right when it was getting
Asch's Anti-Paradigm

Since this is an anthology (that's smart-person talk for a book of stories/poems/stuff) I've decided to go through and write little mini-reviews for each story as I read it. Here goes nuthin'.

Cotillion by Delia Sherman

1.5 stars

This story was a remake of the legend of Tam Lin( for more info on that). It read like the first chapter of a novel, which I really dislike in a short story. I didn't enjoy the weak characterization either. It was also rather boring.
Andrea Talarico
Andrea Talarico
Short Stories

First, I didn’t realize that Firebirds was not just the name of the anthology, but a whole publishing imprint dedicated to Young Adult Science Fiction, which is really cool. Anyway, since it’s impossible to review all the varied stories in Firebirds, An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction, I will highlight some of my favorite moments: “The Black Fox,” by Emma Bull and Charles Vess, starts with a traditional ballad, written out in stanza form, and then mo
An excellent collection of YA fantasy and science fiction short stories by a lot of great authors, including Lloyd Alexander, Kara Dalkey, Sherwood Smith, and Emma Bull. I particularly liked Garth Nix's "Hope Chest", a disturbing story about a girl who was left at a small town's train station as a baby, with only a hope chest; eventually she must use the contents of the chest to save her adopted family and the town from a would-be evil dictator. Diana Wynne Jones's contribution, "Little Dot", wa ...more
A collection of short stories from authors with books published by Firebird, a YA fantasy imprint. YA fantasy spans a wide range of reader maturity, and that range is evident in this collection. Nancy Springer's sugar-coated, condescendingly stupid "Mariposa" (which I hated, if you can't tell) is apparently directed at five-year-olds, while Garth Nix's awesome, bloody "Hope Chest" wouldn't be out of place in an adult horror collection. With the obvious exception of the Springer story, most of th ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Alan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the fantastic
Recommended to Alan by: Olivia
My daughter has read this book twice, and even asked for a copy of her own last Christmas—so when she said I should read it too, I took that recommendation seriously. And she was right—Firebirds is, more than a decade after its release, a solid anthology of original short fantasy. The emphasis on "original" is important—though most of the authors were already well-known names even at the time, none of these stories had appeared elsewhere prior to being in these pages. I myself had not read any o ...more
A really fabulous collection of YA scifi and fantasy short stories.
Like most anthologies, this book collects some great stories and some not-so-great stories. It features names I know and adore (Lloyd Alexander, Patricia McKillip, Megan Whalen Turner) and names I'd never heard before. While most of the stories stand alone, a couple are connected to longer works. Sherwood Smith's story is a sequel to her Crown Duel books, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman's story is said to be from "a longer work" which as far as I've been able to determine has yet to be published. The va ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Christine rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA and fantasy lovers, cat lovers
"Cotillion" by Delia Sherman
"The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Whalen Turner
"Beauty" by Sherwood Smith
"Mariposa" by Nancy Springer
"Max Mondrosch" by Lloyd Alexander
"The Fall of Ys" by Meredith Ann Pierce
"Medusa" by Michael Cadnum
"The Black Fox" by Emma Bull (adaptation) and Charles Vess (illustration)
"Byndley" by Patricia A. McKillip
"The Lady of the Ice Garden" by Kara Dalkey
"Hope Chest" by Garth Nix
"Chasing the Wind" by Elizabeth E. Wein
"Little Dot" by Diana Wynne Jones
"Remember Me" b
Cotillion - While I'm not completely familiar with the story of Tam Lin, it was refreshing to see a modern day version of it that kept to the basic outline of the original. I love tales of faerie and romance, but what I really liked about this tale was that the heroine didn't immediately fall in love with the man she saved. Even if it is 1969, she was very grounded in reality. Sometimes stories of love at first sight with no mind about consequences irk me.

The Baby in the Night Deposit Box - Ther
Like most short fiction collections there are stories in Firebirds that are stronger than others and some that are weaker. Overall it's a rather good anthology. However, I am rather spoiled for fantastic short-fiction books (Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors & Fragile Things, the Fairy Reel and Coyote Road collections edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) so Firebirds in this circumstance does not measure up to the extremely strong compilations I've read before. It may be due simply to ...more
I loved this anthology. There is a certain kind of fantasy that makes me feel happy and excited and engaged, and another kind that makes me feel bored and tired and annoyed, and this is definitely the former kind. The stories are very readable, which is about as technical as I can get because, despite my literary pickiness, I am not a very critical reader. I either enjoy something or I don't. The only thing I have to complain about in this case is that some of the stories were, by their nature a ...more
This is one of the better anthologies I've read. All anthologies are something of a mixed bag. The reader's taste very seldom meshes exactly with the editor's, or the editor has had to make some compromises along the way. Firebirds is substantially above average.

The book is helped, of course, by having some very big names in SFF - Lloyd Alexander, Patricia A. McKillip, Garth Nix, to name a few. Aside from her first couple of books, I've never read anything by McKillip that wasn't terrific, and t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Firebirds is, as the full title indicates, an anthology. Meaning, it is not a novel, but a book with many short stories.
There are 16 short stories, well, actually it is more like 15 short stories and a short comic. Each one is by a different author.
Despite the title, none of the stories have anything to do with firebirds. The title comes from the Firebird imprint. This book was made to celebrate the creation of the Firebird imprint.
There are also the books "Firebirds Rising" and "Firebirds Soari
In this kind of anthology, I tend to gravitate to the stories with the lightest touch. For better or for worse, this often means I like the funniest ones. So, I liked Diana Wynne Jones's "Little Dot," although it is about a cat and I understand might read to some people as kind of twee - for me, it was clever and an interesting update/twist on Puss 'n' Boots.

I also enjoyed two stories about mysteriously orphaned girls who grow up: the sweet, funny, and clever "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box"
I checked this out of the library for the Diana Wynne Jones story in it, but read the whole anthology. I'm not giving a star rating to each story, but I did keep a note of whether I felt positively or negatively toward each story when finished.

1. Cotillion by Delia Sherman + (was nice to start the anthology with a Tam Lin story, as Tam Lin is one of my favourite tales of all time.)
2. The Baby in the Night Deposit Box by Megan Whalen Turner +
3. Beauty by Sherwood Smith +
4. Mariposa by Nancy Spr
My favorite stories in this anthology were "Little Dot" by Diana Wynn Jones-- a tale told from the perspective of a cat-- and "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Walen Turner. I also liked the Garth Nix story a lot. There are several re-tellings of fairy tales. Nancy Farmer's tale about a changeling/girl with a disability made me very uncomfortable. There is one story in this collection that does not seem to be genre at all: "Chasing the Wind" by Elizabeth E. Wein, a story about flying ...more
Michelle Mcroberts
I liked the individual stories in this anthology well enough, but I really struggled to keep reading it. I actually chose to watch TV rather than read at least 2 nights while I had this book started...much to my husband's chagrin, I never choose television over my book - ok, I guess it isn't never, but very rarely...

I really read this book because three authors whose work I love had contributed to it (Megan Whalen Turner, Elizabeth Wein and Diana Wynn Jones). I did find another author whose work
Excellent anthology. I think I might have liked the second one a tiny bit better, but both are full of great stories. For some reason, some of the best stories in both are about foundlings and changelings. I loved the story about the library in the second book, and three of my favorites in this one were The Baby in the Night Deposit Box (Megan Whalen Turner), Hope Chest (Garth Nix), and Remember Me (Nancy Farmer). Nina Kiriki Hoffman as usual did not disappoint, and I also enjoyed Cotillion (Del ...more
3.5 stars. Am going to categorize each story below (which I rarely, if ever do):

Just fucking outstanding:

Little Dot by Diana Wynne Jones
The Lady Of The Ice Garden by Kara Dalkey
Remember Me by Nancy Farmer

I want to read more of these characters:

Flotsam by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Hope Chest by Garth Nix
Beauty by Sherwood Smith
The Baby In The Night Deposit Box by Megan Whalen Turner

Good, almost great:

Cotillion by Delia Sherman
Mariposa by Nancy Springer
The Fall Of Ys by Meredith Ann Pierce
The Black Fox
I liked the book overall, but some of the stories were not what I was expecting to find in this anthology. There were a lot of "retellings" of classic myths/fairy tales that were interesting but, again, not what I would expect to find in a collection of "original fantasy and science fiction." Also, I don't see why "Chasing the Wind" is considered to be in either genre, as there was nothing fantastical about it and the most complicated technology was an airplane. My favorites were the ones by the ...more
Original stories written to celebrate the imprint at Penguin Putnam re-releasing works by well-known fantasy authors, including Lloyd Alexander, Nancy Springer and Garth Nix. Several different kinds of storytelling will only whet readers appetites for more. From Delia Sherman's version of an urban fairy midnight ball, to Garth Nix's fantastic Old West fantasy shoot-out, to Sherwood Smith’s “Beauty", which has a princess wondering what happens when someone doesn’t get their full allotment of Beau ...more
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED YA Short Story - Western, teen gunslinger girl 6 27 May 11, 2013 11:51AM  
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Sharyn November ( is senior editor for Viking Children's Books and editorial director of Firebird Books. She is a two-time World Fantasy Award Finalist (Professional category), and Firebirds Rising was a World Fantasy Award Finalist for Best Anthology.
More about Sharyn November...
Firebirds Rising: An Anthology of Original Science Fiction and Fantasy Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows Lifelode

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