Tom Owens's Reviews > Fantasy-Faction Anthology

Fantasy-Faction Anthology by Marc Aplin
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it was amazing

I don’t usually do anthologies. Not because I don’t like them - after all where else can you get a bunch of your favourite authors (plus a few new ones) in one place for essentially the same price as a single tale - but because it inevitably leads to a huge increase in the number of books and authors I need to go and check out afterwards! It can be expensive reading an anthology; particularly a good one like this. Plus, I am usually a bigger fan of the "slow-burning" type of stories that anthologies don't really allow for.

However I made an exception for this one; partially because it had a few good reviews (plus a few authors I enjoy are in it) but mainly because it helps to support a fantastic site Fantasy Faction ) that I like to try and help out when I can..

Would I have bought this otherwise? Probably not if I’m being honest.

But I’m definitely glad I did. This is packed full of stories not only from big names in the industry like Myke Cole, Mark Lawrence and Michael J. Sullivan but also from winners of the competition Fantasy Faction themselves ran during the preparation of the book. It is genuinely hard to tell those stories from “newbies” and the more established authors apart – testament to the quality of their work and also the quality of the editing to pull it all together.

I don’t intend to review each story here as everyone will have their own favourite and it is certainly true that not every tale will appeal to every reader. However, as far as the anthology as a package goes, the breadth of work on show here is superb; from demonic dealers to supernatural investigators via dreamcatchers, gunslingers, mythical creatures and the sewers of Mexico, there seems to be no end to the imagination of fantasy authors!

There is enough here for every single fan of the genre to not only find something familiar and cosy, but also something a fair distance from their personal beaten track. Comfort zones are nice, but we learn more and end up benefiting more if we operate outside them once in a while.
Once you throw in the excellent non-fiction segments by acclaimed authors which cover a wide range of topics related to the craft of fantasy writing, then you start to realise that this is a special book indeed.

It is a real testament to the editors (who it should be said don’t do this for a living) that they are able to bring this many disparate pieces together into something which is coherent and structured. This doesn’t feel like a bunch of stories under a loose umbrella (as many anthologies do), but rather a celebration of the diversity and unrivalled creativity that the permeates through the fantasy genre.

I urge any fans of fantasy to read this anthology. In fact I would urge you to go buy this book and support the wonderful Fantasy Faction website because I think it is a worthy cause. But even without my ever-so-slight ulterior motives on behalf of FF, I’d genuinely still say the same thing.
This book is a celebration of all that is good in fantasy, and an example of the fact that the most important thing isn’t necessarily who you are, but what story you are telling.

Verdict: 5 stars out of 5
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Reading Progress

July 24, 2015 – Started Reading
July 24, 2015 – Shelved
December 28, 2015 – Finished Reading

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