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Once Upon a Time: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales
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Once Upon a Time: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Ten of the top writers of fantasy present their views of the ways and byways of fairyland:
ISAAC ASIMOV -- A most unusual knight meets an even more unusual dragon.
TERRY BROOKS -- A boy and an elf discover courage conquers more than monsters.
C.J. CHERRYH -- Three wishes -- and the strangest love story ever told.
LESTER DEL REY -- The little princess didn't really believe in a
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 23rd 1991 by Del Rey
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  235 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
The one-sentence summaries of the stories given in the blurb mostly seem not accurate, fyi.

Asimov: The fairy godmothers forget to bestow grace on a prince. Dragon has working-class accent. Mildly amusing.
2.5 stars

Brooks: Heavy-handed metaphor. Dragon=illness, boy fights dragon. Because you can overcome disease with willpower, a la self help books, I guess.
2 stars

Cherryh: Excellent story in the spirit of Welsh mythology. Well written and dark without being hopeless.
4.5 stars

Del Rey: Pleasant st
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I actually enjoyed these quite a bit, enough to want to read it again someday. The pictures are *almost* amazing... very pretty, at least. The cover story is my favorite, and I will investigate Wayland Drew. I'd recommend this to young teens, not so much to jaded/ experienced fantasy readers.

From Drew's story, The Old Soul: "When I listen I hear harmony... When I am still I remember that wisdom is more than knowledge, more than truth."

It did help me sort out, at least for myself, why I like fair
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Picked it up on a whim and was delighted to find an interesting and varied collection that I thoroughly enjoyed. Hard pressed to choose a favorite, Prince Delightful made me laugh out loud and startle the dogs; Imaginary friends is one I would have loved to read to my children when they were little; Gwydion and the Dragon had a very satisfying ending; Thistledown was wonderfully heartwarming and the rest were equally great. Definitely a great read for anyone who enjoys fantasy and fairy tales.
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales, fantasy
I actually rate this 3 1/2 stars. Most of the stories were quite good, though a few were too slow for my taste. I did find a couple new authors that I plan to pursue.
Sandra Strange
Nov 21, 2014 rated it liked it
This collection of fairy tales embraces all of the usual conventions, including fairy godmothers, unicorns, changelings, dragons and doughty princes and princesses galore. They're by the best of the fantasy authors of the 90's, including McCaffrey, Asimov, Brooks, etc. They're slightly updated (no shrinking princesses who need saving), and lots of fun to read.

Mar 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
Despite this being a pretty good collection of short stories, I remembered it as being better when I first read it 30 years ago. That's probably because the fantasy genre runs much deeper these days and these stories with a couple of exceptions are kind of shallow... enjoyable but not surprising in any way. In the hardback that I have there is a beautiful color plate for each story. On a per story basis here's how I rate the collection:

*** - Prince Delightful and the Flameless Dragon - Isaac Asi
Rachel Clausing
I just can't get myself into this. I got maybe a third through. I am not connecting to any of the characters.
Probably would have been 3 stars.
Warren Rochelle
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fairy tales were never meant to be the exclusive purview of childhood. As Lester Del Rey notes in the Foreword to this collection, "the gate to fairyland should never be closed to anyone because of age and adulthood. So "to open it wide in welcome," he and co-editor, Risa Kessler "decided to assemble this book. "In it [they have collected stories of highly sophisticated skill, but with a sense of wonder and the love of myths and magic that were found in the classic fairy stories--truly modern fa ...more
Apr 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I placed a hold on this book to get it after someone else was reading it, but as soon as I read the discription in the preface saying this was a collection for older audiances who enjoy Fairy Tales, I couldn't wait for my chance to read it! Another bonus is one of the stories is by my favorite fantasy author Anne McCaffery! :0)

Updated 4/10/09:
Well, now that I have finished this priceless collection, I have to say Anne MacCaffery's was not my favorite. I l
Dec 05, 2015 added it
I bought this to read to my sister's kids and never got around to it.

Today, I was searching for some books-on-cd to listen to in the car and stumbled across an interesting fact. The first story (in chronological order) in Terry Brooks' "Shanarra" series is a short story titled "Imaginary Friends". It can be found in the "Once Upon A Time" anthology (subtitled "A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales") and was sitting on my shelf since around 1991!
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was the second time I read this book. This time I read it to my youngest at bedtime (took us about three months of inconsistent bedtime reading).

I loved most of these stories even the second time through and my youngest enjoyed them all. Two or three of the stories in this collection really resonated with me and I could come back and read them again and again.

I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for some modern fairy tales; not just for children.
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is edited by Lester Del Rey and Risa Kessler. It is a collection of Modern Fairy tales from authors such as Isaac Asimov, Terry Brooks, C.J. Cherryh, Lester del Rey, Susan Dexter, Wayland Drew, Barbara Hambly, Katherine Kurtz, AnneMcCaffrey, and Lawrence Watt-Evans. Illustrated by Michael Pangrazio.

Delightfully modern and witty fairy tales.
Sarah Hofhine
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you are a sci/fi fan this is for you, and if not it's still for you! 10 of today's top sci-fi authors wrote short stories, modern fairy tales, and they're just so cute and clever and entertaining. I mean, who doesn't love Isaac Asimov and Anne McCaffrey? ...more
James Hecker
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book of wonderful stories. I would read these stories to my kids when they were in their young teens. Now in their mid to late twenties they still remember fondly reading this together on vacation and the image on the cover that takes you into the worlds inside.

Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Story collections can be a mixed bag, but this is a nice mix of unique, cute, clever "fairy tale" style stories by authors that are well known and appreciated for a reason. The illustrations are awesome, too, ...more
Darya Kowalski
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult
This book is refreshing. It is full of modern day fairy tales that are witty and new. It also has graphics that are jaw-dropping. I loved it so much, it was the Christmas gift I gave to everyone.
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved most of the stories in this book. Asimov's fairy tale was by far the best in the book, and McCaffrey's was to me the dullest, but they were all quick good reads. ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really old collection of Fantasy short stories from some of the best writers of that 60's-70's era ...more
Feb 24, 2010 rated it liked it
I confess I have this book only because I love looking at thie pictures (one fore every story). The short stories were ok. Nothing special. But it's worth finding just to look at the pictures. ...more
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Lester del Rey was an American science fiction author and editor. Del Rey is especially famous for his juvenile novels such as those which are part of the Winston Science Fiction series, and for Del Rey Books, the fantasy and science fiction branch of Ballantine Books edited by Lester del Rey and his fourth wife Judy-Lynn del Rey.

Also published as:
Philip St. John
Eric van Lihn
Erik van Lh

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