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Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy (The World of Riverside #1.6)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  4,029 Ratings  ·  352 Reviews

In this thrilling collection of original stories, some of today’s hottest paranormal authors delight, thrill, and captivate readers with otherworldly tales of magic and mischief. In Jim Butcher’s ”Curses”, Harry Dresden investigates how to lift a curse laid by the Fair Folk on the Chicago Cubs. In Patricia Briggs’ “Fairy Gifts,”, a vampire is called home by magic to save t

Paperback, 539 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2011)
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Sep 08, 2011 Chao rated it really liked it
This rating is only for the following:

"Fairy Gifts" by Patricia Briggs - 5-star
It's a wonderful story told in few words but weaved together with rich details, excellent writings and sympathetic characters that feels real. I especially like the way Briggs tells her story; it's that ability of a good author to sweep readers off their feet and carry them along with her/him. Loved it!

(Given that I only read one story in this, I've toned down the rating to 4-star for the book. But "Fairy Gifts" was 5
Jul 17, 2011 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, horror
I think I would have been happier about this book as a whole if the subtitle had been: tales of urban fantasy and horror. Because really, that's what it is.

I did enjoy a handful of the stories (those I liked most are in bold), but there were also quite a few that didn't work for me at all. Quick synopses/impressions below:

Curses / Jim Butcher
In which Harry ogles a well-mammaried faerie, gets beat up a shocking zero times and investigates a curse placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945.

How the Pooka C
Aug 21, 2011 Willa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
I couldn't wait for this book to come out, pre-ordered it, and then after it came out, even saved it and put off reading it so it would last. Silly me. I finally started it, and found myself skipping pages, trying to find something worth reading. Urban fantasy is sometimes difficult to describe, but whatever it is, this isn't it. Urban fantasy, at least in my opinion, and going by books that are generally shelved in that genre, involves characters that are usually considered to be fantastic, suc ...more
I've been eagerly awaiting this book primarily for the story "The Duke of Riverside", which I've been waiting YEARS for, and it would certainly have been worth the price just for that. But there are other marvelous, amazing stories here as well. Holly Black's "Noble Rot", about a dying rock star and and his last fan, could have just tipped over sideways into being a horror story, while Elizabeth Bear's "King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree" was a tour-de-force I can't even begin to describe - it ...more
Nov 03, 2016 Kat rated it liked it
Premise: Urban fantasy tales that focus on the importance of a particular city, making the city a vital part of each tale.

My brain is kind of fried after reading this one. It took a LONG time to finish, longer than I really anticipated. Some of the stories are a lot of description, which takes a lot longer to get through than action. It didn't help that the story that I most wanted to read, the Jim Butcher offering, was first in the book, so I had little to look forward to as I read. A lot of th
Oct 05, 2011 Melodie rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Typical of pretty much all of these UF anthologies, there are some really good stories and then some really bad ones. As per usual when he has a story in one of them, Jim Butcher's story was the best. He has truly mastered the art of the short story. This one about who really placed the curse on the Cubs is the first in the book and the best, by far. The other good ones were Fairy Gifts by Patricia Briggs, Picking Up the Pieces by Pat Cadigan (about the fall of the Berlin Wall), Priced To Sell b ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Jun 07, 2015 Nandakishore Varma rated it it was ok
This book took me a very long time, peppered with a lot of breaks when I had to come up for air and read other books. Either it is not a very good collection, or urban fantasy is just not my thing. I found it tedious to get through.
Nov 05, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I can’t tell you how excited I was to get Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy. It sat on my To Be Read shelf for a while, as I finished up other commitments, and it taunted me, whispered to me, enticed me the whole time. There are some great authors included in this collection and I couldn’t wait to dig in.

It certainly gets off to a good start! In “Curses” by Jim Butcher, Harry Dresden — the only Wizard listed in the Chicago Yellow Pages — is approached about removing a very old curse from a loca
I'm not a Cubs fan, or much of a baseball fan for that matter. I was only vaguely familiar with the "Billy Goat Curse" that is the premise for this story.

As a pre Changes story, things feel a bit more of "the old" Dresden. Dresden gets a case, and digs deeper into things. There is almost no action in this one though.

Overall it's a decent, but unremarkable story. There are several other Dredsen short stories I think are much better.

Hopefully Mr. Butcher will release a Side Jobs 2 that will inclu
I think the day I'm disappointed with an Ellen Datlow anthology will be the day I give up on short stories altogether. Once again, for me there are more hits than misses in this book. The collection starts and ends strong, beginning with a Jim Butcher tale of Harry Dresden's early days and a famous sports franchise curse and ending with a ghostly tale by Elizabeth Bear of Las Vegas featuring One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King. In between, there are stories of ghosts, vampires, spiders (yes, spid ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Robin rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2016
I picked up this book solely to read "Curses" by Jim Butcher.

Wizard Harry Dresden is hired to life a curse that stops the Chicago Cubs from winning the world series. Harry must figure out who made the curse and how it is still in effect after several decades.

I'm a huge fan of The Dresden Files, but I found this story just "OK". Thirty pages is way too short to really get into a good story. My rating: 3 Stars.
Sep 29, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it
I am usually not a fan of short stories, so I was surprised that I enjoyed this collection as much as I did. The entries by those authors I am already familiar with were largely stellar (with the exception being Jim Butcher, whose books, though not bad, have never lived up to the hype surrounding them to me), and I got to sample works from both authors previously unknown to me, and those I have wanted to read but never gotten around to.

There are some true gems in this collection, and I am gratef
Gayle Surrette
Jan 12, 2012 Gayle Surrette rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy is a themed anthology of original stories edited by Ellen Datlow. With twenty stories, there's bound to be something for every reader. The stories are by some of the top names in urban fantasy so, if you've heard of an author but haven't yet read one of their novels, Naked City is a great opportunity to get a chance to get a feel for the type of fantasy that they write. For me, the beauty of anthologies is a chance to read a selection of authors – and perhaps t ...more
Joel Neff
Jul 11, 2013 Joel Neff rated it really liked it
Curses by Jim Butcher
Harry Dresden finds himself being hired to find out who put a curse on the Chicago Cubs and how to get rid of it. It turns out, curses are not always a bad thing. 5/5

How the Pooka Came to New York City by Delia Sherman
I'm honestly not sure if I was charmed more by the story or by the lovely Irish lilt of the narrator. Either way, this was a charming, fun story that takes a different look at the great wave of immigration to 19th century New York. Really liked this one. 5/5

Kathy Davie
Apr 16, 2016 Kathy Davie rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
An anthology of 20 urban fantasies in a variety of cities.

"Curses" (The Dresden Files, 10.7)
"Duke of Riverside" (The World of Riverside, 1.6 before and after Swordspoint, #1)
"Guns for the Dead" (Graveminder, 1.6)
"Fairy Gifts" (Mercyverse, 0.7)

The Stories
Jim Butcher's "Curses" is a funny tale of baseball, the Cubs, and Wrigley Field when Harry is hired to lift the curse preventing the Cubs from winning the World Series. Any World Series.

Delia Sherman's "How the Pooka Came to New York City
Dec 11, 2011 M rated it really liked it
Having a city be a central character in your works requires authors to walk a fine line. You have to let the urban arena become its own entity without swallowing up its residents. The stories collected in this volume offer highs and lows of this tightrope dance. Jim Butcher opens with a humorous look at the curse placed on the Chicago Cubs, followed by an Irish immigrant's tale following the shape-shifting Pooka from Delia Sherman. Richard Bowes falls flat on his Hollywood tale On the Slide, whi ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I read this anthology during an attempt to read more urban fantasy, and the readers in my ReadingEnvy blog chose urban fantasy over paranormal romance. (I also listened to Down These Strange Streets to fulfill this task, see my review.)

There are some great stories here, and others that I merely skimmed. Perhaps if I articulate what I liked, I will understand my feelings about urban fantasy more.

"Picking Up the Pieces" by Pat Cadigan - about the Berlin Wall coming down. I'm still not sure I under
Alex Telander
Dec 19, 2011 Alex Telander rated it liked it
The subject known as “urban fantasy” has grown to become its very own strong and prominent genre in fantasy, and yet there are still many people who have yet to read an urban fantasy book, or an urban fantasy story for that matter. And where are said readers supposed to start with the glut of urban fantasy currently out, along with the many more works being published? An anthology is a good place to start; this particular anthology – Naked City – is a great one.

With so many different authors wri
There are twenty short stories in this anthology, and that is ten or so more than I tend to like in anthologies. Great stories get lost with so many to choose between. On the other hand, there’s a lot of unusual settings and situations in this anthology. There’s a Harry Dresden story in this, “Curses” and several others by writers I follow, including “The Duke of Riverside” by Ellen Kushner about how Alec and Richard St. Vier met, that I was sure I’d read, perhaps online, or likely I'm misrember ...more
With 20 authors contributing to this anthology, I have decided not to break it down by each story. My review would then be endless and y'all would just get bored reading it. Instead, I'll tell you that this is an outstanding collection of short stories that showcases some of the many faces of urban fantasy. From Horror to Faeries, a Wizard Detective, and the Troll of Seattle, you will find something you like in this collection.

My favorites are the following (in order of appearance):

1. Curses by
Jun 14, 2016 Wickedshizuku rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Paranormal fans, Sci-fi fans, UF fans, Horror fans, High Fantasy fans
Recommended to Wickedshizuku by: Jim Butcher's previous books
Going to try and give this one another go. I'm going to be skipping around a bit in this one.

First since I just finished the newest Dresden Files book, I'm starting with...
Jim Butcher~"Curses".
This is fairly interesting. I'm learning a little bit about baseball and the politics in the background. ooohh oooo YaY Bob the skull is in this story!

Christopher Fowler~"Oblivion by Calvin Klein"
This plot was just senseless to me. I didn't like the feel of the main character nor did I like her logic.

Mar 18, 2015 Cait rated it it was ok
Jesus. Everybody really phoned this one in, from authors to editor to cover artist. I found myself wondering a lot throughout whether anybody involved with this project was familiar with the concept of urban fantasy beforehand or if they just shrugged their shoulders and went 'I guess I can probably figure it out.' They didn't, tho!!!! Like, you had some authors even admitting 'this was gonna be a novel but uh I got lazy so I switched the setting to a city and put it here instead.'

It was almost
Jul 11, 2011 Dianne rated it liked it
Naked City by Various Authors
This is a book chock filled with the stories of today’s best and brightest speculative fiction authors. Since it would probably be unproductive for me to synopsize each story, I will say that there are several that I enjoyed very much. “Priced to Sell” by Naomi Novik a hilarious light story which deals with the harshness of selling real estate in New York to Vampires, Pookas and various other things that go bump in the night. “Noble Rot” by Holly Black was another of
E.J. Stevens
This anthology is worth reading for Jim Butcher's Curses, Ellen Kushner's Duke of Riverside, Patricia Briggs' Fairy Gifts, and Melissa Marr's Guns for the Dead.

Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy begins strong with a Dresden Files short story, but readers should be forewarned that many of the short stories in this collection are not what most people would consider Urban Fantasy. This does not make the collection bad. There are fantasy and horror elements in many of the stories, just not the combi
A mixed bag of urban fantasy stories, not all of which are actually fantasy, and not all of which are really all that urban. A number are magical realism, and if I liked that genre better (or at all) I would have enjoyed this collection better. My favorite stories were Delia Sherman's "How the Pooka came to New York City", Patricia Briggs's "Fairy Gifts", and Peter S Beagle's "Underbridge." Each of them provide a good deal of characterization in a short amount of space amid an interesting plot. ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Laurian rated it it was ok
I was lured in by this book with the two big names on the front of it. I generally like these short story compilations that have those two authors and thought that the premise of the book sounded pretty interesting. The idea is that the city should be as central a character in the story as the main character - that the city should have presence instead of just being part of the background.

The book started off strong with Jim Butcher's story, which was fun and enjoyable. But then it just kind of
Paul Bonamy
Jul 25, 2011 Paul Bonamy rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful collection of stories. Not all of them precisely fit my taste, but this is, I suspect, a good thing on the whole. Officially this is a collection of urban fantasies, but the actual tone and subject matter range everywhere from a wizard PI in Chicago to histories of the fantastic to the forces behind cities, and even a story about a city itself. If you're into anything that could be called urban fantasy, there's almost certainly something in this collection for you.

Since it co
Dan Guajars
Sep 13, 2013 Dan Guajars rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
En realidad de doy 3.5 estrellas. Es una buena colección, tiene buen material, y también tiene bastante relleno.

Algunas obras son... o sea... WOW! De verdad, hay material fascinante aquí, verdadera fantasía urbana en el amplio rango de probabilidades. Y las obras de relleno son, y perdón por el leve spoiler, aquellas en las que no ocurre nada fantástico, o se alude a un elemento fantástico que no es tal, y al final de la historia no ocurre nada; mucha introducción y un final abrupto; hasta deus
Michael Dziok
Dec 27, 2013 Michael Dziok rated it it was amazing
Search the Internet for the PDF as I don't believe it's available on Jim Butcher's website. I also don't think it's in Side Jobs or I would have remembered the story. It has to do with the Billy Goat Curse and it's a good short story. Lets be honest Jim Butcher rarely disappoints and this is no different. It takes about an hour to read or listen and should be sought out by an Dresden fan.

P.S There's a line in "Cold Days" (I think) where Butters talks about curses and mentions that this crazy In
Pam McNew
I may take a turn or two before discussing this anthology of urban stories, because the first thing that strikes me is it's an anthology of place, or it felt like an exploration of place (cities) within a fantastical time frame more than it feels like a series of character within urban fantasty.

Eh, that's all you're getting at this time.

Well, except this, Lavie Tidhar should be nominated for an award next year for "The Projected Girl."
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  • The Urban Fantasy Anthology
  • Down These Strange Streets
  • Dark and Stormy Knights
  • Blood Lite III: Aftertaste (Blood Lite, #3;  Otherworld Stories, #10.4; The Dresden Files, #6.5)
  • Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives
  • Chicks Kick Butt
  • Home Improvement: Undead Edition
  • Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
  • Love Hurts (The Dresden Files, #11.5)
  • Our World (The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game, #2; The Dresden Files, #10.11)
  • Magic City: Recent Spells
  • A Girl's Guide to Guns and Monsters
  • Happily Ever After
  • Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy
  • Welcome to Bordertown (Borderland, #5)
  • Huntress (Cin Craven #3.5, Black London #1.5)
  • Hexed (Kate Daniels, #4.5; Otherworld, #9.5; Stormwalker, #2.5; Anna Strong Chronicles, #6.5)
Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter
More about Ellen Datlow...

Other Books in the Series

The World of Riverside (5 books)
  • Tremontaine: The Complete Season One (Tremontaine #1.1-1.13)
  • Tremontaine: The Complete Season Two (Tremontaine #2.1-2.13)
  • Swordspoint (Riverside, #1)
  • The Privilege of the Sword (Riverside, #2)
  • The Fall of the Kings (Riverside, #3)

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