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Community of Magic Pens

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Eclectic, imaginative, and unexpected, Community of Magic Pens features forty genre-spanning flash and short stories--including fantasy, humor, science fiction, romance, historical fiction, satire, and mystery--bringing together a rich group of diverse voices from a wide range of backgrounds and intersections.

Fountain pens, markers and ink, charcoals, spy pens, a braille w
Paperback, 296 pages
Published May 4th 2020 by Atthis Arts, LLC
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Although recently I find myself gravitating towards short stories (and away from novels ... but then would "gravitate" be the right word?), flash fiction still doesn't have enough pull. Or mass. Or ... am I making a mess of this metaphor?

So I couldn't get deep enough during most of these stories. But I did appreciate their general positivity.

Here're the ones I appreciated on other levels too:
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book a lot. It has stories in many different genres, with very diverse interpetations of the theme 'magic pens' and also very diverse characters and settings.
There's a very clear list of content warnings for people who need those, located at the end of the book so as not to spoil people who don't, overall very considerate I think! :D Some heavy themes are mentioned or talked about, and this way everyone can decide what they are up for.
I was never really someone who reads s
Anthony Eichenlaub
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am extremely proud to have my story The Cemetery Merchant in this book.

If I had to pick a favorite out of all these wonderful stories, it would be Today I am a Fountain Pen by Lawrence Miller. It is such a fantastic and beautiful story that I know other pen makers will appreciate.
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the first anthology that I've ever read and I enjoyed myself so much that I'd do it a thousand times over.

This book completed changed the way that I consider myself a reader and the genres that I like. It will certainly influence the kinds of books that I choose to read in the future. I thought it was extremely considerate to put the list of content warnings at the back of the book. We live in a delicate time and every person walking this earth experiences something different and has t
E.D.E. Bell
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Putting this book together has been an absolute joy. I hope that you will feel that in its pages.
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-stories
Disclaimer: I wrote the story "Memory Malfunction" which is part of this book.

I really loved Community of Magic Pens. It's not only a fun cover, though that's also definitely true, but most of the stories have a lot of depth, a very specific atmosphere, and so many different kinds of magic that you can't ever look at a pen and think it's "just an object" anymore. (Though in all honesty, pens had been magical objects to me for a very long time, so on that point I'm probably biased.)

When I review
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Writing about magic pens. Too easy or just right? Well, neither, going by this anthology, which I must say was a real disappointment. Surprisingly so, since I read and really enjoyed two other anthologies edited by the same person, one of which was an object anthology, one of my favorite kinds. I was kind of hoping this would be similar in charm and quality, but instead this book turned out to be an epitome for how it works when political correctness overwhelms/outweighs good storytelling. There ...more
Maria Flaherty
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-2020
A charming anthology of short stories and poems, each with the central theme of the pen and specifically the role of the pen in our lives. The anthology crosses gender, ethnicity and religious lines, with authors from a variety of background telling stories and this adds to the richness of the collection. The stories tell about two loves writing their marriage vows on the eve of their wedding, a young girl preparing for her Bat Mitzvah, getting a tattoo – the way that a pen (or ink and writing i ...more
Apr 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to Atthis Arts Anthology & NetGalley for the Advanced Reader's Copy!

Available May 4th 2020

A quirky and healing collection, Community of Magic Pens begins with a simple question - what is the power of a pen? Each of these brief short stories is completely different in tone, setting, plot, dialect and character. It's a little discombobulating traveling from a superhero academy to an ancient Masjid and back to post-Partition India, but it also means the collection never gets boring. Thoug
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Uplifting, imaginative and funny collection of short stories.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic story that's really just sweet and fun and funny and good. So many hopeful stories that are pretty low on grimness and shine with kindness and care. Really really good, people! ...more
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'd never really thought about pens other than as tools to write with. This collection of short stories gave me a whole new perspective.

Community of Magic Pens is a collection of forty short stories written by a cast of diverse authors. There are stories from all genres: science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, romance, satire, mystery, etc. and every story prominently features a pen in some way.

I find it difficult to review short story collections when each story is written by a different
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
On the heels of my previous read (which was a collection of four novellas), I am reviewing an anthology which(also) has a common theme. The idea is to write a story featuring a magical pen, and a LOT of authors have contributed to this work. I have encountered one or two in earlier anthologies.

It is quite fascinating that multiple people used the same elaborate theme to indicate the powers of the pen. The location and handling of it by the protagonists varied, but the concept stayed the same. Th
Lawrence Miller
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Not a single story I didn't enjoy. Some were unapologetically happy, others bittersweet, but all were written with hope and love. Favorites include "Qalam", "The Cemetery Merchant", "One Story, Two People", and "The Healer".

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this anthology because my story "Today I Am a Fountain Pen" is included in it. I did not read any of the other stories in draft or ARC form.
M.R. DeLuca
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This wide-ranging anthology encompasses an engagingly eclectic mix of genres, from historical fiction to humor to science fiction. Delve into tales about were-pens, history-changing nuns, and cognizant pens, and behold as the pens written in these stories come to life.
Olivia Sose
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was ok

The book cover is beautiful and tells it's own story; the editor provided further explanation about the cover, just in case you missed it. The title of the book is also compelling, It catches your attention even if you aren't a book lover.

The stories in this anthology are fantasy-themed and laced with rich diverse narratives; some of the stories are sweet, straightforward and delightful, others I just couldn't wait to skip.

The good stories do outwei
Z. Ahmad
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Full disclosure my story Qalam is featured in this anthology. I am really honored to be included with so many other talented authors. Overall I really enjoyed the short stories. Not everything was my cup of tea but the ones that were made the entire series worth reading. In order of appearance in the book here are my favorites: Mighter; Inheritance; Pen ID; Do Not Write to Wrong; Today, I am a Fountain Pen; The Last of Your Kind; Memory Malfunction; One Story, Two People; Writ Large; Written wit ...more
Ava Kelly
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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E.D.E. Bell (she/e) loves fantasy fiction, and enjoys blending classic and modern elements. A passionate vegan and earnest progressive, she feels strongly about issues related to equality and compassion. Her works often explore conceptions of identity and community, including themes of friendship, family, and connection. She lives in Ferndale, Michigan, where she writes stories and revels in garli ...more

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