Best American Fantasy
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Best American Fantasy (Best American Fantasy)

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A prestigious new anthology series, Best American Fantasy is guest edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, with Matthew Cheney serving as the series editor. This inaugural volume showcases the best North American fantasy short fiction from the preceding year.
Paperback, 396 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Prime Books
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As the title states, these are the stories that editors Ann and Jeff Vandermeer have chosen for the best American (stories published in American journals, magazines, and web sites) fantasy stories of the year. With one exception, I can't find fault with their choices.

“Bufo Rex” by Erik Amundsen. The toad of fairy tales travels from town to town, until he finds a story of his own.

“The Seven Deadly Hotels” by Bruce Holland Rogers. Description of visits to seven different hotels, each with a singul...more
Some very good, some mediocre. Then again, I have really particular tastes. The story about God's overcoat was my favorite, if only because I was touched by the kindness.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the distinctions between literary and fantasy fiction lacked rigid outlines. Nothing typified this trend more than editor Judith Merrill's 12 volumes of The Year's Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy, published from 1956 to 1968. Within her anthologies, such authors as John Graves, William S. Burroughs, Donald Barthelme, and Gunther Grass routinely appeared alongside more readily identifiable genre writers. Since the mid-Eighties, "best of" fantasy publications have focu...more
What I love about this collection is that it's not just genre fantasy (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, etc). Much of it - in fact, the majority of this collection - pulls from literary journals like One Story, Zoetrope, The Southern Review, A Public Space The New Yorker, etc. It's such a smart way to do a year's best-type collection, in my opinion, broadening the horizons of fantasy readers, genre and literary.

Not sure why this collection is getting only...more

I was really excited to read this collection of stories, I thought that the fantasy would be spilling out of the pages....but I was really disappointed. Although all of the stories were well written there were only a few that I really enjoyed. Bottom line is that this book is not fantasy more twisted reality and the the only reason I finished it was in the hope that it would get better.
I was pleasantly surprised -- I hadn't read anything called "fantasy" in years, and that's the main reason my expectations were so...skewed. There were a handful of stories in here that I really LOVED, and most of them I quite liked, and I think I'll actually seek out and read the NEXT one in this series, whenever it comes out. Congrats to the editors and writers!
May 21, 2012 Eric added it
Shelves: favorites
My favorites: "The Flying Woman," "Song of the Selkie," "Pieces of Scheherazade," "The Man Who Married a Tree," "A Fable with Slips of White Paper Slipping from the Pockets," "The Warehouse of the Saints," "The Ledge," "The End of Narrative (1-29; or 29-1)," and "An Accounting," which I read to my wife when she was ill and it cheered her up.
Some I really enjoyed, some not so much, as is often the case with more "literary" fantasy. For the most part still better than bad uber-genre short fantasy, but I didn't enjoy as many as I hoped I would. I particularly liked the "A Troop [sic] of Baboons," but I'm especially susceptible to monkeys in my fantasy.
Why are there so many depressing stories in the world?

Future self, you should know that you probably only stopped reading this book because you had so many others you would rather be reading checked out from the library which has a measly three week lending period.
Eric Orchard
This is an incredible collection of stories.They sprawl across time and space and are endlessly inventive. Every story is compelling, impossible to set down yet every story is also incredibly different from each other. a remarkable feet. Grab this collection.
Blech. Pretentious, and seemingly dedicated to "rescuing" fantasy from genre. Many of the stories were quite bland.
Interesting range of stories; even those not to my taste were solid and well-written.
Deborah Coates
I've only read the one story in this so far, but I have a special fondness for it :)
Couldn't finish it. The selected stories were very dark and depressing.
Zach Zeidler
my sister has a story published in this one, everyone should buy this
Eric's story is great! The rest is eh.
Aug 23, 2007 catherine rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: good people
i'm in this book.
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