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Best American Fantasy (Best American Fantasy)

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  100 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A prestigious new anthology series, Best American Fantasy is guest edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, with Matthew Cheney serving as the series editor. This inaugural volume showcases the best North American fantasy short fiction from the preceding year.
Paperback, 459 pages
Published June 14th 2007 by Wildside Press
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May 01, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A collection of short pieces of writing, some of which could be termed "fantasy" and a few of which could be termed "stories." Very few are worth reading. The stories by Baker and Swirsky are by far the best, but it's hard to choose what was worst, because there are so many terrible ones to choose from.

As I read each story, I recorded my reaction. Here they are:

Eric Amudsen, "Bufo Rex." The tale of a toad who is tormented by humans. I like the rhythm of the words.

Bruce Holland Rogers, "The Seve
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the title states, these are the stories that editors Ann and Jeff Vandermeer have chosen for the best American (stories published in American journals, magazines, and web sites) fantasy stories of the year. With one exception, I can't find fault with their choices.

“Bufo Rex” by Erik Amundsen. The toad of fairy tales travels from town to town, until he finds a story of his own.

“The Seven Deadly Hotels” by Bruce Holland Rogers. Description of visits to seven different hotels, each with a singul
By some error, Goodreads seems to have conflated the first and second volumes of this series. My favorite stories from the first book are "The Saffron Gatherer" (Elizabeth Hand), "A Better Angel" (Chris Adrian), "First Kisses from beyond the Grave" (Nik Houser), "A Troop [sic] of Baboons" (Tyler Smith), "Origin Story" (Kelly Link), and "The Man Who Married a Tree" (Terry D'Souza).

A month after my first posting and I just read the second volume. My favorites h
Oct 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthologies
In the 1950s and 1960s, the distinctions between literary and fantasy fiction lacked rigid outlines. Nothing typified this trend more than editor Judith Merrill's 12 volumes of The Year's Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy, published from 1956 to 1968. Within her anthologies, such authors as John Graves, William S. Burroughs, Donald Barthelme, and Gunther Grass routinely appeared alongside more readily identifiable genre writers. Since the mid-Eighties, "best of" fantasy publications have focu ...more
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
What I love about this collection is that it's not just genre fantasy (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, etc). Much of it - in fact, the majority of this collection - pulls from literary journals like One Story, Zoetrope, The Southern Review, A Public Space The New Yorker, etc. It's such a smart way to do a year's best-type collection, in my opinion, broadening the horizons of fantasy readers, genre and literary.

Not sure why this collection is getting only
Nikka Calindas
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Some of the stories included in this compilation simply perplexes me. Not because the stories are confusing but simply because I do not understand why exactly are they included in the fantasy category. Maybe my own definition is too narrow, I don't know. But I always believed that fantasy and fiction are too different genres. They may overlap most of the times but still different entities just the same.
Mar 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised -- I hadn't read anything called "fantasy" in years, and that's the main reason my expectations were so...skewed. There were a handful of stories in here that I really LOVED, and most of them I quite liked, and I think I'll actually seek out and read the NEXT one in this series, whenever it comes out. Congrats to the editors and writers!
Feb 10, 2011 added it
Shelves: favorites
My favorites: "The Flying Woman," "Song of the Selkie," "Pieces of Scheherazade," "The Man Who Married a Tree," "A Fable with Slips of White Paper Slipping from the Pockets," "The Warehouse of the Saints," "The Ledge," "The End of Narrative (1-29; or 29-1)," and "An Accounting," which I read to my wife when she was ill and it cheered her up.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it

I was really excited to read this collection of stories, I thought that the fantasy would be spilling out of the pages....but I was really disappointed. Although all of the stories were well written there were only a few that I really enjoyed. Bottom line is that this book is not fantasy more twisted reality and the the only reason I finished it was in the hope that it would get better.
Some I really enjoyed, some not so much, as is often the case with more "literary" fantasy. For the most part still better than bad uber-genre short fantasy, but I didn't enjoy as many as I hoped I would. I particularly liked the "A Troop [sic] of Baboons," but I'm especially susceptible to monkeys in my fantasy.
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Ann VanderMeer is an American publisher and editor, and the second female editor of the horror magazine Weird Tales. She is the founder of Buzzcity Press.

Her work as Fiction Editor of Weird Tales won a Hugo Award. Work from her press and related periodicals has won the British Fantasy Award, the International Rhysling Award, and appeared in several year's best anthologies. Ann was also the founder
More about Ann VanderMeer...

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