Every now and then I get a hankerin' to read some tales of Arthur and his knights that were written in the modern era. Really, I'm too lazy to dedicate myself to a full novel, so it's fortunate that one can dig up Arthurian short story anthologies here and there. Since this volume at hand features a tale by Phyllis Ann Karr, author of the superlative "Idylls of the Queen" (starring the oft-maligned Sir Kay), I thought I'd give it a shot.
Besides Ms. Karr, the anthology also includes contributions by Cherith Baldry (author of another Sir Kay novel), Darrell Schweitzer, Peter Garratt, Keith Taylor (all of whom also were present in an unrelated anthology, "Shakespearean Whodunnits"), and more. Several of the authors are also RPG designers or have edited collections of fantasy game-related fiction.
My favorites from this volume were Alex Kolker's "Forethought", in which Merlin tells the story of Prometheus, "Tea and Company" by Valerie Frankel, about the domestic arrangements of Merlin and Niniane (Nimue), "A Spear in the Night" by Mr. Taylor, which tells of Merlin's meeting with a young Tor, Aaron Rosenberg's "Six for the Sword", which posits that Arthur was merely one of a half dozen possible candidates cultivated by Merlin to pull the sword from the stone, and John Steele's "A Time of Blood and Steel", which in some ways is about the unlikely friendship between Sir Brastias and Sir Ulfyus. Also good are Mr. Schweitzer's elegiac "The Last of the Giants of Albion" and Clarissa Akyrod's "Follow", which deals with Sir Pellinore and the Questing Beast.
This collection had a pretty good batting average: about half of the stories were very good, most of the rest were solid while not terribly exceptional, and only a couple were subpar. Overall, there's actually comparatively little written about Arthur himself and virtually nothing of Lancelot or Gawain or Guinevere. But quite a bit of Merlin, and of the pre-Arthur histories of Uther Pendragon and his predecessors, and much about the knights of lesser acclaim.
So if you crave a taste of Camelot, as it were, this should be quite your thing, especially if you'd like to delve into the dustier nooks and crannies of Arthurian lore. Whether you're a knight or damsel, or merely some contemptible churl, give it a shot.