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

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  3,156 Ratings  ·  151 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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Mar 02, 2011 Arya rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
(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
Mar 07, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
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
Oct 16, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Bought a copy so I could reread. Have done so, and enjoyed just as much as expected/ hoped. Sad, now, though, as I must part with the book. Highly recommended, and certainly not just to teens.

More fairy tale than sword&sorcery. More beauty, romance (in both senses of the word), literary value. Evocative, provocative, poetic, resonant, oh yeah. Even a bit of humor, both happy and dark. This is a book I would have read a hundred times when I was in my teens and over the next decades.

Now, well
Dec 31, 2007 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
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.
Oct 12, 2011 Navi rated it liked it
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
Kathy * Bookworm Nation
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
Apr 21, 2010 Philip rated it liked it
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'
Megan Whalen Turner's "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" stole the show for me, here, and reminded me that I really ought to seek out more of her short fiction. Other favorites included Lloyd Alexander's "Max Mondrosch" (although with its existential despair about the working world, it feels a little out of place in young adult collection that otherwise verges on inspirational reading), Sherwood Smith's "Beauty," and Diana Wynne Jones's "Little Dot" (which plot-wise is a sort of unfocused, ramb ...more
The Scarlet Pervygirl
May 23, 2008 The Scarlet Pervygirl rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 19, 2010 Cinda rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthologies
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.
Jenn, Reader of Things

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.
Jul 21, 2011 Christine rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2015 Metaphorosis rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 2012-rev
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
Aug 15, 2013 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
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
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
Jun 14, 2010 Christin rated it liked it
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
Apr 13, 2014 Adobe rated it liked it
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2011 Sandy rated it really liked it
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
Sep 22, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it
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
Andrea Talarico
May 06, 2012 Andrea Talarico rated it really liked it
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
Rena Sherwood
Oct 31, 2016 Rena Sherwood rated it it was ok
Color me nutty, but when the title of an anthology series claims that it is "an anthology of original fantasy and science fiction" I expect there to be at least one science fiction story in the anthology.

Silly me.

This is a beautiful looking book, lovely font, lots of white space that made it easy on my old eyes, original stories (for the time) but after the first few stories, the quality drops sharply. I read this a couple of weeks ago and I've already forgotten about most of the stories becaus
May 14, 2012 Krystal rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelle Johnson
Oct 04, 2016 Chelle Johnson rated it really liked it
I love fanstasy anthologies. I get to indulge, and I have to commit to a series. I meet new authors without fear of hating them becausen it's only a few pages of my time.

i Ioved Garth Nix's story Hope Chest. it was probably my favorite. strange and different from others i have read by him...but also familiar.

Mariposa was fun and reminded of so many of my older friends who did what society told them and are only now realizing it doesn't make them happy. wild women who tamed themselves.

Cotillion a
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
Feb 25, 2011 Flitterkit rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I absolutely loved about half the stories in the book and liked the rest of them. If you like short stories I highly recommend it, though it wasn't anything like I was expecting, the stories were beautifully written and in most cases, like most well written short stories, far too short.

I especially loved:
The baby in the night deposit box by Megan Whalen Turner
Mariposa by Nancy Springer
Medusa by Michael Cadnum
Byndley by Patricia A McKillip
Hope Chest by Garth Nix
Little Dot by Diana Wynne Jones
Nov 22, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the best anothologies I have read. I picked it up and could not stop reading the stories. I even went out and bought some of the authors that I had not previously read before because the stories in the anthology peaked my interest. For anyone that loves young adult science fiction, elves, magic, and just a great story to allow you to forget the world you live in and live for a short time in the world of wonder, this book is definatley a steping stone into a new world. I would defi ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Kerith rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This is a wonderfully varied collection of short fantasy stories. The authors collected here are at the top of the game -- Lloyd Alexander, Diana Wynne Jones, Garth Nix and Nancy Farmer, to name a few. My favorite stories were "Cotillion" (another Tam Lin tale), "The Lady of the Ice Garden" (a Japanese twist on Andersen's Snow Queen) and "Chasing the Wind" (whose author mainly wished to write about aeroplanes). A treat.
May 26, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
I checked this out because it had a short story by Megan Whalen-Turner, one of my favorite writers. I love reading short story anthologies because you can a read a story in just a few minutes. These are all very different and interesting from a baby being left for safe keeping in a night bank deposit box to man who evaporates into nothingness after searching for a job for years. Fun to have around the house when you have a few minutes to knock a story back.
Maureen E
Jan 13, 2010 Maureen E rated it really liked it
Another short story collection, this one focused on authors with a connection to the Firebird imprint. Several of my favorite authors, including Megan Whalen Turner, had stories in it and overall I thought it was a very solid, well-done collection. I really enjoyed “Beauty” by Sherwood Smith, partly because I was so happy to read more about Mel and Shevraeth and it just changed the ending of Court Duel in lovely ways. Also, “Cotillion” by Delia Sherman, which was yet another Tam Lin story.
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED YA Short Story - Western, teen gunslinger girl 6 42 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.
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