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Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy

(The Chronicles of the Black Company #2.2 - Shaggy Dog Bridge)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  297 ratings  ·  50 reviews
A brand new series bringing you Fantasy stories from some of the biggest and most exciting names in the genre! The authors appearing in the launch volume include Trudi Canavan, Elizabeth Bear, Daniel Abraham, Kate Elliott, Saladin Ahmed, Glen Cook, Scott Lynch, Ellen Klages, Ellen Kushner & Ysabeau Wilce, Jeffrey Ford, Robert Redick and KJ Parker. An amazing array of t ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Solaris
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3.69  · 
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May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Please note: this review will be updated as I read more stories from the anthology.

So as I mentioned this is an anthology of short fantasy stories. The collection consists of the following:

Amethyst, Shadow, and Light by Saladin Ahmed.
An unusual pair of thieves was made an offer they could not refuse. They only needed to steal an artifact always guarded by powerful crazy sorcerers. Still, a choice between a certain death now and probable (very much) in the near future in the hands of said crazies
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
March 31, 2019: picking this up again because I'm, um, you know, fearsome like that and stuff.

Why thank you so much for the support, doggy-looking barnacles mine!

P.S. Expect this review to be bumped to death as I read and crappily non-review stories in this collection and stuff. You're welcome and stuff.

[ January 2019]

Disclaimer: there are twelve short stories in this collection. I only read Glen Cook's. Because I'm revoltingly selective like that. And also because DUH.

Friendly warning: the f
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-heroic
Before I get to my review, I want to offer a friendly public service message to those who are fortunate enough to be reading and voting on the various genre awards. Go ahead and pencil in Fearsome Journeys as this year's winner for best anthology, and Jonathan Strahan as winner for best editor. That's right, find your nomination form, jot the title down, put a huge asterisk beside it as the likely winner, and focus your reading efforts on those categories yet be decided.

Okay, so maybe I am being
The first few stories were great, the rest mediocre to plain bad. I abandoned two. That seems to be about par for the latest anthologies by Strahan, though. I like being able to sample authors' work, both when they're writing in their 'typical' world & out of it. I often wonder if some that have been around a long time & are popular are worth another go.

Trudi Canavan's contribution, was a really pleasant surprise. She's an author I don't typically read, but "Camp Follower" was excellent
As usual with anthologies, this was a good mix of the sort of stories that interested me and ones that don't. I was decidedly "meh" about a few of them, but for the most part it's a solid collection, showcasing the current crop of SF/F talent. I think my favourite stories were Scott Lynch's 'The Effigy Engine', Trudi Canavan's 'Camp Follower', and Kate Elliott's 'Leaf and Branch and Grass and Vine'; maybe also Elizabeth Bear's 'The Ghost Makers'.

I think my problem with short stories is that they
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: anthology, fantasy
The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats by Scott Lynch – I`m not a huge fan of the novels Lynch writes, but this is the second short story that I read from him and you know what, I liked the two a lot.

Amethyst, Shadow, and Light by Saladin Ahmed - it`s not in the same world like the first novel of the writer, but it was another good surprise. Good story, good characters, great writing.

Camp Follower by Trudi Canavan- It had a prety ok story.
I haven`t read anything before by Trudi and I`m not
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
An anthology, so there'll always be some you (or I) like better than others, but not a stinker in the bunch. Particular highlights for me included stories by Scott Lynch (in a vaguely Vancean mode), Elizabeth Bear (a welcome return to the world of the Shattered Sky, although not directly connected to any of the novels) and K.J. Parker (the least romantic, least chivalrous bit of dragon-slaying you're ever likely to come across). Plus strong contributions from Glen Cook, Ellen Kushner, Daniel Abr ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Engaging as usual, but not particularly outstanding. A dragon comes to town and the town's sole knight has the task of dispatching it.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't expect a lot from short story anthologies. I may well have been reading short story anthologies since before I started in on novels. At least in the "grownups" section of the library, and maybe before. I remember those old Alfred Hitchcock anthologies from my elementary school as well as I remember The Mouse & the Motorcycle. But, as I say, I don't expect much. Outside of a very small number of editors, I've become accustomed to enjoying an anthology if it has more than two stories I ...more
Alex Sarll
There's nothing like an anthology claiming to offer a survey of a field to remind you why you hate that field. The cover calls this 'The New Solaris Book of Fantasy', but as the introduction makes semi-clear, what began as a plan for something wide-ranging soon degenerated into a collection of 'mainstream' fantasy. Which is to say, these stories all occur in pseudo-mediaeval secondary worlds. Some of the worlds, indeed, are so close to historical that it gets quite distracting, particularly when ...more
Dave Versace
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fearsome Journeys is an anthology of fantasy short stories, most of which are quests or at least quest-adjacent. Though editor Jonathan Strahan intends it to encompass a wide spectrum of modern fantastika, I found the my favourites tended more towards the low-magic grit of Fahfrd and the Gray Mouser's end of the spectrum than elf-strewn high fantasy. It's a solid collection from some excellent fantasy writers.

Military fantasy gets a good look in with Scott Lynch's opener "The Effigy Engine: A Ta
Jan 25, 2013 marked it as started_finish_later
while this one has a stellar cast, I bought it first and foremost for Kj Parker's piece so it was the first I read

The Dragonslayer of Merebarton - KJ parker - wry and subtly ironical tale about Dodinas le Cure Hardy, an aging knight of 56 who was mending his chamber pot to save money when he gets word that a dragon has been sighted in an area that he is responsible for protecting etc etc; in between reminiscences about his career as a fighting knight (not particularly enthusiastic but fighting i
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Some good stuff in this one, and no real stinkers.

And there is, I kid you not, a story about margarine. It's surprisingly fun too.

I especially liked the Elizabeth Bear story. Does anybody know if she has written other things set in that world?

The Scott Lynch one was really good too. Interesting magic system.

Somebody seems to have forgotten to print the end of the Redick story just ends totally without closure.
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: anthologies, solaris
Scott Lynch's "tale of the red hats" was enough fun that I'm going to seek out more of those stories, if I can. (Sarcastic, sardonic, gallows-humour fun.) I'm going to look up more by K J Parker (Dragon-slayer), and by Kate Elliott, (leaf and branch and root and vine). And as much as I don't think I LIKE Robert Redick's The Forever People, it was very good. The rest just made me wonder at how "fantasy" means "military" to so many.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Fearsome Journeys is a fantasy anthology from Solaris, edited by the remarkably prolific Jonathan Strahan. I’ve enjoyed some of the other Solaris anthologies, and this one looked to have a good mix of authors I knew, and those I hadn’t previously heard of. As ever, I enjoyed some of the stories more than others – but I don’t think there was a bad one in the bunch.

There were several standouts. “The Effigy Engine” from Scott Lynch, combined his sharply charming prose with a vivid world. There’s a
Fiona Hurley
Writing a fantasy short story is a tough challenge, because so much depends on the worldbuilding and that's hard to get right in so many words. There were no "dud" stories in this anthology, which is impressive, but there were some I liked better than others. Trudi Canavan and Ellen Klages are authors who I'll be looking out for.
R.A. Goli
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I feel like I should have enjoyed this more than I did. Not quite sure why I didn’t, it was well written and I enjoyed a few stories but I suppose most of them weren’t memorable to me. I quite like sone of the authors in the anthology; maybe I expected too much 🤔
Greg Benham
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthology
An enjoyable anthology. The KJ Parker was great, as to be expected, but the Black Company tale disappointed.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Surprisingly interesting and fun collection of fantasy stories. Some dark and some with a twist, not the usual fluff. Highly recommend.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers who wants to read a good collection!
This is a really good novell-collection, I didn't knew or have read anything from the most of the authors and I was buying it because Trudi Canavan contributed with a novel and dinät had that high expectations. I liked the most of the novels, not everyone, but I'm impressed by the diversity and differences the authors interpretative their stories according to the "theme" and not like some other collections tells more or less the same stories. Every novel was wellwritten and I got some pleasant s ...more
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
So in my current quest to unearth new and different fantasy writers, I decided to explore this collection, which won a World Fantasy award for anthologies in 2014. (Yeah, I hadn't heard of this particular award either.)

The stories are all very different from one another, but a handful stick out. The opener "The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats," by Scott Lynch is a quirky yarn about a band of mercenary wizards and reads with a clever comic-book tone. "The Dragonslayer of Merebarton," by K J
Tom Loock
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Like (almost) every anthology, Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy is a mixed bag:

The K.J. Parker-story about a dragon-slayer told from an odd perspective was the reason I bought the book and it is (together with Lynch's) the best story here. Interesting to see how other reviewers disagree about Parker ...
Unless I am mistaken, Parker never uses magic, monsters or even any fantasy races in his - yes, his! - novels that all take place in the same world, but most of his recent stori
Gavin Gates
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Solaris anthologies have become a must have in recent history as far as I’m concerned. House of fear, Solaris rising etc all heading up the horror and sci fi genres to a gold medal standard, so, when a fantasy one lands in my pile, the cover displaying castles, dragons and maps I feel like it’s Christmas day all over again. I was not disappointed at all, given the fact that Trudi Canavan and Adrian Tchaikovsky both have a short in there should be enough to sell this to any fan of fantasy, casual ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I'll be honest; as a whole, I felt the anthology sort of flopped--especially considering the all-star lineup it sported. I was ready to be blown away. At least it did end pretty strongly, thankfully. Elizabeth Bear's and Daniel Abraham's contributions kept me from giving it a two star-rating all by themselves. Their two stories alone make it worth the price of admission in my opinion. If Bear's "Ghost Makers" is in any way indicative of the quality of her Eternal Sky trilogy, then I can't wait f ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't really enjoyed many anthologies, and I had pretty much decided to not bother with them anymore, but with 2 of them written by 2 of my favourite authors (I have a lot of favourite authors!) Daniel Abraham and Scott Lynch, plus some by authors I've wanted to try eg Elizabeth Bear, Judi Canavan and Glen Cook I just had to buy it.
Well I'm glad I did as now I will start reading Judi Canavan for sure - her short story Camp Follower I really enjoyed. Daniel Abraham didn't disappoint either.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This may be my favorite collection of short stories. There were quite a few stand out stories.

Scott Lynch's "Effigy Engine" was a fun tale. You could just hear the resonances between his Gentleman Bastard's world and Glen Cook's Black Company. Delightful war story of a quirky troupe of musketeers and sorcerers.

Elizabeth Bear's "The Ghost Makers" is another peak into the amazing world of her Eternal Sky trilogy. She quickly develops two great and interesting characters.

Trudi Canavan's "Camp Fo
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book represents a good sample of some of the best writers in the SF&F field. I'm a big fan of fantasy of years gone by, and I'm interested in several of the new authors in the field such as Saladin Ahmed. So I was interested in reading this book.

As with any anthology, some stories are better than others. In my opinion, a couple of the stories seem to fall flat. Jeffrey Ford and Robert Reddick's individual stories seem to end too abruptly and K. J. Parker's story was something of a downe
Aaron Singleton
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
I bought this antho solely because it contains a new Black Company story by Glen Cook, who is one of my favorite writers. So far, the BC story is the only one I've read, but I plan to read all of them eventually. So, the four stars are for the BC story and NOT the entire collection. I will update my rating(if needed) once I read the rest of it. If you are a fan of the Black Company series, then this story alone is worth the price of the book. The story is called "Shaggy Dog Bridge". It is actual ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: compilations
Somewhat variable collection with a few gems and no real stinkers.

Best contribution is the stellar Scott Lynch ('The Effigy Engine'). KJ Parker's 'The Dragonslayer of Merebarton' is also a highlight, despite the fact that I'm somewhat less than a fan of Parker generally. Glen Cook delivers a solid, if unspectacular, tale of the Black Company, well up to his usual standards. I wasn't a huge fan of the Daniel Abraham story, which is more or less a first for me, but it's well written even if it le
Ade Couper
Dec 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This was quite nice: As you may have noticed, I'm not the greatest fan of "High Fantasy", so this was something of a leap in the dark for me, & I was pleasantly surprised.

this volume comprises 12 tales, many of which are by authors I've not previously read. Some, to be frank, did drag a bit: the 3 I liked best were Scott Lynch's "The Effigy Engine: a tale of the Red Hats", Saladin Ahmed's "Amethyst, Shadow & Light", & Elizabeth Bear's "The Ghost Makers"; all 3 of these are so good I'
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Other books in the series

The Chronicles of the Black Company (9 books)
  • The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1)
  • Shadows Linger (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #2)
  • The White Rose (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #3)
  • Shadow Games (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #4)
  • Dreams of Steel (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #5)
  • Bleak Seasons (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #6)
  • She is the Darkness (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #7)
  • Water Sleeps (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #8)
  • Soldiers Live (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #9)
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