This is a pretty decent anthology; it caught my eye at the library. Almost all of the stories have been collected elsewhere previously, though. Some o...moreThis is a pretty decent anthology; it caught my eye at the library. Almost all of the stories have been collected elsewhere previously, though. Some of them had errors that suggested they had been retyped and that not all the errors stemming therefrom had been caught, particularly the Marion Zimmer Bradley story. (It made me sad. Not because of the typos, because of the subject matter.)
On an unrelated note, I am getting a little irritated at seeing big name fantasy authors take shots at Harry Potter. Not because I'm a huge fan I think the HP series is workmanlike but not stunningly awesome but because it frequently sounds like sour grapes. It seems uncollegial, I suppose. Anyway, in this case it was George R.R. Martin, but I've seen Ursula K. Le Guin do it too.(less)
I'm going to get this out of the way: there was a part of me that worried that this volume would be terrible or disappointing, but I feel like it's a...moreI'm going to get this out of the way: there was a part of me that worried that this volume would be terrible or disappointing, but I feel like it's a worthy successor to the Bordertown stories I particularly loved, like "Danceland" and Finder. The gimmick that the way to the Border has been closed for 13 years, from the perspective of the world we know, while a mere 13 days passed on the Border is played with just enough for humor and drama, not to the point of being cheesy.
I'll be posting reviews of the individual pieces later on, but if you'd like to sample some past and present Bordertown stories, go to this page, where you'll find links to "Danceland" and (under Other Tales) pieces from this anthology, including Cory Doctorow's excellent "Shannon's Law." (Particularly recommended for people who work in IT.)(less)
There are some excellent stories in this anthology. My favorites were probably Beth Wodzinski's "Suffer Water" ("Not everything needs to be fixed.") a...moreThere are some excellent stories in this anthology. My favorites were probably Beth Wodzinski's "Suffer Water" ("Not everything needs to be fixed.") and Sara M. Harvey's "Where the Ocean Meets the Sky." (It's got Emperor Norton!) But when I got about 2/3 of the way through the anthology, I sort of, er, ran out of steam. The stories started to blur together a little, with the exception of Shweta Narayan's "The Padishah Begum's Reflections." And that one was a little more non-linear than I was in the mood for.
This was an interesting anthology because the editor argued, and the stories reflect, the idea that steampunk doesn't have to be all gung-ho white male imperialism. (I was slightly surprised to see someone not afraid to talk about RaceFail 2009 in an anthology introduction. Possibly the only such anthology introduction in existence?)(less)
This seemed a little long, and many of the stories were too serious and/or trying too hard to be lyrical.
To be fair, though, I didn't pick this up bec...moreThis seemed a little long, and many of the stories were too serious and/or trying too hard to be lyrical.
To be fair, though, I didn't pick this up because I wanted to read an anthology about unicorns. I picked it up for Ellen Kushner's short story after reading its prequel in Magical Beginnings.
You can tell that the Kushner story is early-ish work; it's not as polished as her Riverside novels. But it and its prequel are still interesting to read for fans of medievaloid fantasy. I hope she does novelize those stories sometime.
Peter Beagle's short story is also worth a read. Naturally; I mean, it's Peter Beagle. >.> I liked the Tad Williams story, and Dave Wolverton surprised me a little. I don't know that I liked the story so much, but it surprises me a little that someone who's most famous for Star Wars novels can write so evocatively. (Yes, I know, my snobbery is showing.)
It was also neat to read the Charles de Lint story. It's a Newford story, but not one involving the usual suspects. (Jilly, Geordie, Christie, etc.)(less)
This is a cool concept. I couldn't really get into about half of the stories, including some of the ones by authors whose work I'd enjoyed before. The...moreThis is a cool concept. I couldn't really get into about half of the stories, including some of the ones by authors whose work I'd enjoyed before. The ones I enjoyed:
"Ass-Hat Magic Spider" by Scott Westerfeld (even though it was slightly twee); "The Surfer" by Kelly Link; "Anda's Game" by Cory Doctorow (despite being a bit message-heavy, it was an interesting take on video game war); "The Star Surgeon's Apprentice" by Alistair Reynolds (cool to read that he has a bunch of Word files on his hard drive that are titles waiting for stories); and "Pinocchio" by Walter Jon Williams (possibly the most interesting take on celebrity as virus that that I've encountered; for more on this, see 2033: The Future of Misbehavior).
"Orange" by Neil Gaiman was merely okay. The others I can be assumed to have made an effort to read but not been intrigued by, or been put off by.(less)
An inordinate number of these stories start with the gratuitous exposition of the character's full name. Booooooooooooring.
Okay, so that's just my per...moreAn inordinate number of these stories start with the gratuitous exposition of the character's full name. Booooooooooooring.
Okay, so that's just my personal pet peeve. However, only two of the stories held my attention from beginning to end. Two of the others were decent, but not really grabby. The others ... I didn't even come close to wanting to finish them. (The ones that struck me as worthwhile, FWIW, were "The Hum" by Rick Hautala, "Stalking Old John Bull" by Jean Rabe, "Engines of Desire & Despair" by Russell Davis, and "The Historian's Apprentice" by S. Andrew Swann.
I should probably note that I've read a lot of SF, and very few of the stories in here shut off my internal critic. You know, the one that says "Good God I am so tired of stories that tell us the character's full name right off like it's the most important thing in the world" and "Oh, hey, the video game war trope." Someone who doesn't have that issue might get more out of this book.(less)
I was tempted to give this a 2 or 2.5 but the stories I liked, I really liked, and I didn't read many of them in full. I was going to go in order, but...moreI was tempted to give this a 2 or 2.5 but the stories I liked, I really liked, and I didn't read many of them in full. I was going to go in order, but I decided to list the ones I liked most first.
S.J. Rozan's "The Path" was an excellent story featuring Buddhism and the pilfering of antiquities. "Squatters' Rights" by Rochelle Krich was excellent and chilling. Toni L.P. Kelner's story was a nice, quirky way to wind up the anthology. I liked "The Strength Inside," a story about the difficulties of homeowners' associations by Melissa Marr.
"Wizard Home Security" by Victor Gischler was pretty good. Stacia Kane's "Rick the Brave" was decent. "The Mansion of Imperatives" is something that someone who enjoys creepy surreal horror more than I do would probably really like. Suzanne McLeod's "Full-Scale Demolition" was pretty good, but I could have done without the romance plotline.
I skipped the Sookie Stackhouse story, because I've read the author's other series and am not that interested. I bounced off the Patricia Briggs story; about halfway through I realized I just wasn't interested. Something about the characters she creates, or their voices, just seems to not work for me, at least in short form. The Heather Graham story didn't grab me after a few pages, so I skipped it.
I bounced off E.E. Knight's "Woolsley's Kitchen Nightmare" and Seanan McGuire's "Through This House." With the latter it felt like I was missing too much background. This was probably not helped by my knowing that there are 6 books in the series featuring that character. I bounced off Simon R. Green's story.(less)
This was a surprisingly entertaining anthology. Of course the concept is total fluff, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with that. Also, the visual...moreThis was a surprisingly entertaining anthology. Of course the concept is total fluff, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with that. Also, the visual design of the cover, dust jacket, and endsheets are completely awesome. Unfortunately, the top right front corner of the copy I got from the library bent or crumpled a bit just from being in my bag. Could just be a defect in this copy, though. Hard to say. Oh, and incidentally? Team Zombie all the way. Both in general and with regard to this anthology.
Best zombie story: Alaya Dawn Johnson, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (serious); Libba Bray, "Prom Night" (funny, mostly) Best unicorn story: Naomi Novik, "Purity Test" (funny); Diana Peterfreund, "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn" (serious) Honorable Mentions: Carrie Ryan's "Bougainvillea" and Scott Westerfield's "Inoculata." Best Overall: Ooh, tough call. Very hard to decide between "Purity Test" and "Prom Night." At the moment, I'm leaning toward "Prom Night." Stories I couldn't get into or couldn't keep reading: Garth Nix, "The Highest Justice (U with a side of Z)"; Margo Lanagan, "A Thousand Flowers (U)"; Cassandra Clare, "Cold Hands (Z)"; Kathleen Duey, "The Third Virgin (U)."
Okay, so technically I read the Nix and Duey stories. But in the first case, it was so bland I initially forgot that I'd read it. And in the second case, I made myself keep reading and I can't guarantee that I didn't skip a few pages or paragraphs.
Ryan and Bray both produced something that I think is better than their novel-length work. Meg Cabot's "Princess Prettypants (U)" and Maureen Johnson's "The Children of the Revolution (Z)" had their moments, but I think they both leaned a little too heavily on the tropes.(less)
Overall this had some decent stories. I'd say the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones by Scott Lynch and Tanith Lee.
Stephen Erikson, "Goats of Glory...moreOverall this had some decent stories. I'd say the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones by Scott Lynch and Tanith Lee.
Stephen Erikson, "Goats of Glory" - couldn't get into it, skipped.
Glen Cook, "Tides Elba" - not bad although I felt like not ever having read any of the Black Company books was a slight hindrance. Very testosterone-oriented.
Gene Wolfe, "Bloodsport" - interesting concept, the writing was kind of ... heavy, bordering on turgid?
James Enge, "The Singing Spear" - was okay. The story intro had some interesting comments taken from an interview that Enge did with Fantasy Book Critic about how "twenty-first-century literary fiction is looking to refresh itself at the wells of genre."
C.J. Cherryh, "A Wizard in Wiczesan" - not bad, not great. I lost patience in the middle of the story. As much as I love some of her work, I wish C.J. Cherryh would stop making her characters use the same atypical expressions. When you've read enough of her fiction it's as if she'd jumped off the page and hold up a sign that said, Hi, I'm C.J. Cherryh, I'm right here.
K.J. Parker, "A Rich Full Week" - meh. Didn't finish.
Garth Nix, "A Suitable Present for a Sorcerous Puppet" - mildly amusing.
Michael Moorcock, "Red Pearls" - okay, genre classic/genre co-creator - whatever. Elric is still whiny. In the introduction to this collection the editors even called him an angsty teenager. Okay, but as far as I can tell he never actually outgrows that. So annoying. (I'm probably being unfair here. But I've never been able to finish a book or story about Elric, because of the whininess.)
Michael Shea, "Hew the Tintmaster" - amusing setting, overall story concept ... enh.
Tim Lebban, "The Deification of Dal Balmore" - meh. I can do without torture fics tyvm.
Scott Lynch, "In the Stacks" - amusing, with a cute concept. I liked this better than I liked his novels from the same setting. Though the d'name-starting-with-consonant surnames still make me wince. (Kari Sperring's Living With Ghosts is another offender in this regard IIRC and ... call me excessively francophilic, but I just don't like it.)
Tanith Lee, "Two Lions, a Witch, and the War-Robe." Mildly entertaining send-up of various quest tropes. In tone, kind of like a cross between Jane Yolen and Ysabeau Wilce.
There were other stories in here ... I either read them and they didn't really register, or I started and they weren't interesting enough to continue.(less)
This caught my eye mostly because of the Kage Baker and Naomi Novik short stories. Well, the Novik story was okay. The Baker story was all right for w...moreThis caught my eye mostly because of the Kage Baker and Naomi Novik short stories. Well, the Novik story was okay. The Baker story was all right for what happened, but it made me sad because Smith and Mrs. Smith (characters from her novel The Anvil of the World) had none of their interesting nuances here.
Probably the best story here was the one by Peter Beagle. I know, I'm going out on a limb there. While there were certain elements of cliché about it, and while writing about a writer is easy to do poorly and/or boringly, it had a feature I am coming to prefer: it was an adventure story without being Mindlessly Epic, i.e. all the adventure swoops in from nowhere. The adventure developed naturally out of the character's normal daily existence, without that A Wizard Did It/It Happened Because A Writer Said So feeling.(less)
I had actually read this once before; I can't be sure about the dates. I wanted to re-read the Porfirio story. (He appeared in Mendoza in Hollywood an...moreI had actually read this once before; I can't be sure about the dates. I wanted to re-read the Porfirio story. (He appeared in Mendoza in Hollywood and The Graveyard Game. I suppose it may not be her best short story ever, but to me it's interesting.
I'm also fond of "Standing in His Light," which features the rarely seen facilitator Van Drouten in a behind-the-scenes-of-history role. "Hellfire at Twilight" is okay, and "A Night on the Barbary Coast" is a mildly amusing Joseph and Mendoza story. "Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst" is ... all right. I'd have to go back and read the later books in the series to be sure (and I don't really want to), but I think it may slightly contradict the canon.(less)
I thought there was a reference to this in Libriomancer, but apparently not. (Unless Amazon's Search Inside results are lying to me.) I guess I just f...moreI thought there was a reference to this in Libriomancer, but apparently not. (Unless Amazon's Search Inside results are lying to me.) I guess I just found it through wikisafari, either through looking up stuff about Jeeves and Wooster (P.G. Wodehouse) or Raffles (E.W. Hornung).
Anyway, however I found it, it was just an okay read. Carnacki made me think of Mercedes Lackey's Diana Tregarde, and to a lesser extent of Mulder from The X-Files — he is a believer and practitioner of occult knowledge, but he is also aware that fraud is common and tries to debunk it when he finds it.
The style of storytelling here is old, and it shows. The only story that really gripped me was "The Whistling Room." It was genuinely a bit scary, even at the end, even if it did it by making a woman a potential victim, if Carnacki hadn't averted the crisis.(less)
This is so very fanfic-ish, in concept at least. (And sometimes in execution. Please note that that's not meant as an insult. While some fanfic is bad...moreThis is so very fanfic-ish, in concept at least. (And sometimes in execution. Please note that that's not meant as an insult. While some fanfic is bad enough to make run screaming into the streets, some of it is of pro or near-pro quality.) It's a pretty cool idea, but I started losing interest after a few stories.
The Neil Gaiman piece at the beginning was excellent. I know that's a "really going out on a limb there" thing, but ... Neil Gaiman doesn't push my readerly buttons that much. (I know, that makes me a comparative rarity. >.> This might be the best thing by him that I can recall reading.) The Elizabeth Bear story that followed was almost as good. After that, the stories gradually began to seem very similar. It probably didn't help that I'm not that familiar with the Holmes canon.(less)
I snagged this at the library because another review led me to think that the Bujold story in this collection was new. However, it isn't; it's the cod...moreI snagged this at the library because another review led me to think that the Bujold story in this collection was new. However, it isn't; it's the coda to Shards of Honor.
The stories that I enjoyed were "Life-Suspension" (L.E. Modesitt), "Different Day" by K. Tempest Bradford, "Swanwatch" by Yoon Ha Lee, "The Culture Archivist" by Jeremiah Tolbert, and "The One with the Interstellar Conquest" by James Alan Gardner. "The Other Side of Jordan" by Allen Steele wasn't bad, and "Like They Always Been Free" by Georgina Li makes me think she might be worth checking out, though this particular story ... let's just say the beginning is a bit squicky.(less)
I'm going to be lazy and copy a comment I made to Hirondelle earlier, because it says most of what I have to say about this book.
There were some I lik...moreI'm going to be lazy and copy a comment I made to Hirondelle earlier, because it says most of what I have to say about this book.
There were some I liked. I felt like about half the stories held my interest/were worth reading.
The ones I thought well of, or at least was able to finish reading:
"Love Hurts" by Jim Butcher "Hurt Me" by M.L.N. Hanover "The Thing About Cassandra" by Neil Gaiman "His Wolf" by Lisa Tuttle "Kaskia" by Peter S. Beagle
Okay, so that's actually less than a third.
Others' mileage may vary. There were a lot of authors in here who I've tried reading before and found they were not really my thing. I made the attempt here but, sadly, no go.
I'm glad that someone tried the concept, and more generally the spec fic/romance crossover thing. (Well, okay, not that it hasn't been done before, in Irresistible Forces for example ... but I like the idea of it.)(less)
Only a few of these stories were really brilliant (par for the course for most anthologies, really), but it's interesting to see what's happening in E...moreOnly a few of these stories were really brilliant (par for the course for most anthologies, really), but it's interesting to see what's happening in European SF. The mini-overviews from the introductions to each story are also useful in this regard. So far as I could tell (not having read the originals), all the translations were good.
Yes, the future is worth reading about, but ... most of these futures are pretty boring. Come on, people ... taking a swipe at Spears, Hilton, Ritchie...moreYes, the future is worth reading about, but ... most of these futures are pretty boring. Come on, people ... taking a swipe at Spears, Hilton, Ritchie et al is just going for the low-hanging fruit. Pathetic. (Not all did this, but more than one took this approach.)
However, if Jardine Libaire's "Pirate Daddy's Lonely Hearts Club Call-In Show" doesn't make you get all sniffly ... you may want to have that checked out. Pity she doesn't seem to have written anything else like it.
I suspect that the more familiarity you have with science fiction as a genre, the less likely you are to think this is great ... but I may be wrong.(less)
I read two of the stories here — "Two Delays on the Northern Line" and "The Diary of the Rose", as the setting is the same as that of Orsinian Tales a...moreI read two of the stories here — "Two Delays on the Northern Line" and "The Diary of the Rose", as the setting is the same as that of Orsinian Tales and Malafrena. "Diary of the Rose" had an SF/dystopic feel and "Two Delays" (in keeping with rest of the Orsinia works) did not.
I didn't have time to read the other stories, but I think I would like to later.(less)
I forget why I checked this out from the library originally. To re-read the Delia Sherman story, maybe? Well, anyway, sadly I am coming to the conclus...moreI forget why I checked this out from the library originally. To re-read the Delia Sherman story, maybe? Well, anyway, sadly I am coming to the conclusion that "La Fée Verte" is one of the stories that I like less with each re-read.
A number of the stories that are here I had read elsewhere. However the Valente story and the Barzak story were new to me, and I liked them.
I had to stop reading the Peter Beagle story because it was called "Chandail" and all I could think was that chandail means sweater or jersey in French, and I kept waiting for that to become relevant. It may be that I didn't wait long enough. >.>(less)
I only picked this up for the Kage Baker story. So strictly speaking, you can't really say I read the whole thing. I gotta say, the Kage Baker story w...moreI only picked this up for the Kage Baker story. So strictly speaking, you can't really say I read the whole thing. I gotta say, the Kage Baker story was kinda weird. It was like when someone writes a really out there fanfiction reimagining of their favorite TV show. Only in this case, her favorite TV show is the life of Will Shakespeare, and she's into pre-Germanic and pre-Roman Britain. Which I can't really criticize her for, but man, this was weird. It sort of put me off reading the rest of the anthology, though some of the authors are more than capable of doing interesting things.(less)
I've never cared much for the horror genre*, and perhaps that's why I started reading each of the first four stories in this book and gave up and skip...moreI've never cared much for the horror genre*, and perhaps that's why I started reading each of the first four stories in this book and gave up and skipped to the next one before deciding to abandon the volume entirely. The intro informed me that one of the things that distinguishes New Weird from slipstream and interstitial fiction is influence from the horror genre, along with an eschewing of "postmodern techniques that undermine the surface reality of the text (or point out its artificiality)."
*I make an exception for zombies, though I tend to think of that as SF.(less)
A solid anthology. Not all the stories were previously unpublished. The introductions to the urban fantasy and paranormal romance sections were intere...moreA solid anthology. Not all the stories were previously unpublished. The introductions to the urban fantasy and paranormal romance sections were interesting. (I'm not as much of a horror fan, but Susan Palwick's short story "Gestella" was about as chilling as gender-based horror can be without involving rape. Still possibly triggering for people who have been emotionally abused, though.)
I forget why I got this from the library originally ... looking for more stories by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel after reading something of hers in anoth...moreI forget why I got this from the library originally ... looking for more stories by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel after reading something of hers in another collection, perhaps? Anyway, it has an impressive lineup, but I'm just not in the mood to read a short story collection and deal with the need for rapid focus/mood/setting shifts. I read the stories by Steven Brust, Walter Jon Williams, and Jack Williamson, but the rest will have to wait.(less)
I got this from the library for the Califa story by Ysabeau S. Wilce, even though I knew going in from her Twitter that this one involved characters w...moreI got this from the library for the Califa story by Ysabeau S. Wilce, even though I knew going in from her Twitter that this one involved characters we haven't seen before as protagonists. (Though in the background there are some minor characters we've seen before.) I feel like it lacked a certain amount of the humor and sparkle that the Flora and family stories have provided. But the ending made me laugh.
I read the rest of the stories, and sadly, none of them really worked for me. Not even the Kelly Link story I usually love her work. The Christopher Rowe and Libba Bray stories came the closest to being satisfying from beginning to end.
I want to like steampunk I love the concept but somehow nothing new and recent has really worked for me. Maybe I'm trying too hard or something....(less)
I'm afraid I ran out of steam on this one. The Butcher story was nice; there aren't too many genre stories that seriously consider sports fandom. (And...moreI'm afraid I ran out of steam on this one. The Butcher story was nice; there aren't too many genre stories that seriously consider sports fandom. (And yes, I do feel like this was mostly the point, and that the fantasy elements were kind of window dressing. Since I'm a sports fan, I'm mostly okay with that.)
I liked the Naomi Novik story. It was slightly gimmicky, but fun, which I never thought I'd say about a story with the milieu of high end real estate deals.
The Pat Cadigan story was okay, but I almost forgot that I'd read it. I found myself uninterested in the Patricia Bray story. Either the Novik or the Cadigan story was the last one I read. While there are some interesting authors in here, I just wasn't feeling like the overall anthology was holding my interest.(less)
When my boyfriend and I were waiting in line to buy Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at a midnight release party, a girl in the line we struck u...moreWhen my boyfriend and I were waiting in line to buy Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at a midnight release party, a girl in the line we struck up a conversation with described Diane Duane's So You Want to Be a Wizard series as "kind of the same after a while." And that's how I would describe the stories and essays (the line is somewhat blurry here) in this collection. I eventually started checking to see if the item was available on the author's homepage, and skipping it if it was, unless the opening really grabbed me. (I felt compelled to finish this. Don't ask me why.) Some parts of it are very funny - naturally, the ones I liked the most don't seem to be available on the web site. For example, "Nature, Wineberry in Tooth and Claw, With a Hint of Claret" was freaking exquisite.(less)
I picked this up mostly for the Kage Baker story, "The Ruby Incomparable." Unfortunately, it was somewhat disappointing. Svnae was such a promising ch...moreI picked this up mostly for the Kage Baker story, "The Ruby Incomparable." Unfortunately, it was somewhat disappointing. Svnae was such a promising character in The Anvil of the World. I know this was a juvenile anthology, but in this story, Svnae hardly got any of the anguish and torment that she did in Anvil of the World. Admittedly, that was as novel as opposed to a ~20 (book-sized) page short story, but she only really shows up in the last ~125 pages, and as a supporting character isn't visible the whole time. There was inadequate character development, I guess is what I'm saying, and also I guess I was expecting "What Happened to Svnae after Anvil." (Maybe the sequel to Anvil will have Svnae. It'd better. [It didn't, darn it. Well, not in any really meaningful capacity.] Side note about anguish and torment: I have a theory that anguish and torment are how character development happen. And sometimes it's how plot advancement happens! IMO it's best if the anguish and torment is as a result of the character's own decisions/mistakes. Can you tell I'm a Bujold fan?)(less)
This was all right. It's a collection of some of David Drake's short fantasy fiction. His devoted fans will probably enjoy it as a collection ranging...moreThis was all right. It's a collection of some of David Drake's short fantasy fiction. His devoted fans will probably enjoy it as a collection ranging from his earliest to later days. As someone who is neutral WRT David Drake's work (I don't seek it out, nor can I recall having read any of his novels; this one simply looked interesting, so I grabbed it at the library.), at times his introductions to the stories were more interesting than the stories themselves. (Like the one where he talks about the study of Latin as his soul's anchor, and the one where he mentions a very disliked Vietnam-era colonel who received a medal for being shot down by his own men during a helicopter inspection.) People with an interest in the history of SF/F may find these to be of some interest. In some of the intros, he mentions the inspiration or source for the story as something more recent, like C.M. Kornbluth. There's also some fairly early Lovecraft semi-pastiche which I skipped over without finishing; it wasn't really holding my attention.
Drake states that writing about Vietnam was in some ways his therapy for serving there as an interrogator. Some of the Vietnam-set stories seem to sound the same note over and over, and I skipped over one or two without finishing them. However: probably the best story in the collection was "The Hunting Ground," which was one of the post-Vietnam stories. (It features a Vietnam veteran with pain from a chronic injury.) It managed to be genuinely scary without simply being grotesque or requiring too much suspension of disbelief. There are some stories in the collection inspired by German fairy tales, Norse sagas, and Beowulf, but I'm not sure that Drake connects that well with the source material. For the most part I thought those stories were sort of meh. There's also a story which features a character from his Isles fantasy series. I haven't read it myself, but fans of the series might be interested in that story, "The Elf House."
Drake was an assistant city attorney in Durham NC after the war and before becoming a full-time writer. Might be interesting to hear his comments on the Duke lacrosse rape case. But then again, maybe he's already made them and they would irritate me to no end ... I'm not going to try to find out.(less)
3.5, I think. I think I only passed on four stories, and a couple of those were because I wasn't in the mood for the style of the piece or author at t...more3.5, I think. I think I only passed on four stories, and a couple of those were because I wasn't in the mood for the style of the piece or author at the time. But it also has a really useful and interesting introduction.
I jumped right to the Caroline Stevermer-Ellen Kushner story, because I am a huge Caroline Stevermer fangirl. Then I kind of forgot about the rest of the collection, possibly because it blended together in my mind with Willful Impropriety. The collections aren't actually that similar, at least not in the sense of being redundant. I think this one actually had a better ratio of punch-packing stories. Delia Sherman's book set a good tone, but I think that Veronica Schanoes Got It the most: her afterword talked about how everyone sees the cool bits, but not the class oppression. I mean, if you offered me a chance to be born as a member of the Victorian English upper classes, preferably a male one, I'd probably take it. But would I want everyone to live in that world? Not particularly.(less)