Wealhtheow's Reviews > Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction

Firebirds Soaring by Sharyn November
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's review
Sep 01, 09

bookshelves: fantasy, sci-fi, pocmaincharacters, ya, humor, historical
Read in August, 2009

***"Kingmaker" - by Nancy Springer. The king's only child is a girl, who helps her father decide disputes and is well-loved by the populace, but will never rule the kingdom. When she stumbles across a powerful magic bracelet, her disappointment at being passed over bubbles up. I liked this until the end, when the story abruptly shifts.
**"A ticket to ride" - by Nancy Farmer. A destitute boy tries to help a dying homeless man, and accidentally gets to relive all of the man's best memories. Fantastic until--the boy stays on, reliving memories forever, and it's supposedly a happy ending.
*"A thousand tails" - by Christopher Barzak. Story about a modern-day kitsune who turns into a ghost. A little fetish-y for my tastes, the relationship with the father felt completely unreal, and I have no idea what happened when Midori turns into a spirit.
***"All under heaven" - by Chris Roberson. A man and his grandmother go out fishing in a really interesting sf world.
***"Singing on a star" - by Ellen Klages. Creepy and well-written. One little girl shows her friend how to get into a hidden world.
****"Egg magic" - by Louise Marley. A farm girl loves her chickens and dislikes her step-mother and new siblings. She yearns to meet her mother, the mysterious Magda. This is a mature, nuanced story. I really believed in the characters, and the touches of magic were wonderful.
***"Flatland" - by Kara Dalkey. Corporate life in the future.
***"Dolly the dog-soldier" - by Candas Jane Dorsey. Not sure I understand what a dog-soldier is (were the children dogs when they were taken, and turned into humans?), but I really liked this story. A girl is brought up to be a weapon, but she is too smart for the lies she's told.
***"Ferryman" - by Margo Lanagan. A girl brings her father some lunch. It's a cozy little family moment until you realize that he's the ferryman of the dead.
***"The ghosts of strangers" - by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. In a world where dragons torment humans, a small village has found a way to keep themselves safe. Every adult bonds to a single female dragon, then feeds her and her children for seven years. In return, the dragons protect them from marauders.
***"Three twilight tales" - by Jo Walton. "It's a fairy story that questions the demands that stories make of their protagonists. Like most fairy tales it's liminal, it's all about edges and thresholds and twilight and possibilities."
**"The dignity he's due" - by Carol Emshwiller. Two young siblings deal with their mother, who is convinced the boy is the heir to France's throne. It's not speculative in the least, and the story, although interesting, has no end.
*"Power and magic" - by Marly Youmans. Too boring to finish.
**"Court ship" - by Sherwood Smith. Cute little story set in the Crown Duel world.
**"Little Red" - by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple. Crazy girl in an institution is repeatedly assaulted.
***"The myth of Fenix" - by Laurel Winter. A little boy reinvents himself so thoroughly that he fits better with aliens than with humans.
***"Fear and loathing in Lalanna" - by Nick O'Donohoe. Hilarious!
*"Bonechewer's legacy" - by Clare Bell. A story about intelligent cats. It's pretty useless if you don't know the world or the characters already.
***"Something worth doing" - by Elizabeth E. Wein. A young, aimless girl decides that her brother, who just died, will not have died without having honored his name. She takes his place at the RAF. Fantastic training sequences and I love the main character; really satisfying story all around.
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