I hardly ever read short stories, but I'm so glad I made an exception for Stories: All-New Tales. I probably wouldn't have except that I'll try almostI hardly ever read short stories, but I'm so glad I made an exception for Stories: All-New Tales. I probably wouldn't have except that I'll try almost anything with Neil Gaiman's name on the cover. In the introduction Gaiman tells a story about a commenter on his blog who asked him what quote he would choose to put on the wall of a public library children's area. Gaiman, after giving it some thought, chose four words: "...and then what happened?", the words that children ask when you're telling them a story. This is the real joy of fiction, Gaiman says, that feeling of being pulled along by a narrative and wanting to know what happens next. He decided, along with Sarrantonio, to put out a call for stories that would keep the reader asking that question. This collection is the result.
As is the case with any anthology there were some stories I enjoyed more than others, but there wasn't even one that I really disliked. My favorite was "The Therapist" by Jeffery Deaver. Other stories I especially liked were "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" by Elizabeth Hand (who wrote Illyria), Gaiman's "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains", "The Stars are Falling" by Joe R. Lansdale, and "Wildfire in Manhattan" by Joanne Harris... but really I could go on and on because I loved most of them. Just read the whole book. ...more