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My Favorite Fantasy Story Kindle Edition
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I loved M. John Harrison's story "The Dancer from the Dance," but I think I liked it more than I would have otherwise, just because Stephen Donaldson's very evocative introduction sets the stage so well. Also, I have always loved Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" stories, and I loved reading Robert Silverberg and George R. R. Martin each explaining why they chose a different story from that book, and seeing how their opinions closely mirrored my own. Neil Gaiman chose a story by R. A. Lafferty that I had never read before. Not only did I love the story, but it also made me reexamine some of Gaiman's own work, and think about the ways which Lafferty might have influenced his writing.
If you are looking for the fantasy found in endless volumes of Tolkein ripoffs and Jordan wannabes, this is not the book for you. (Even Margaret Weis, who has often been a guilty practitioner of the aforementioned, picks a beautiful story by Charles Dickens to introduce.) But if you are looking for one of the most interesting and well-rounded collections of first-rate fantasy literature to be found in print today, you should buy this book.
Not all of the stories are excellent. I didn't enjoy the older ones (I always have a difficult time with pre-1900 fantasy) by Ingelow, Dickens, or M.R. James. The Harrison story had so much information in it that it was difficult to follow.
What makes this anthology stand out from others are the short introductions given by other authors in which they explain why they enjoy that particular story. They don't always go into great detail (Marion Zimmer Bradley and Tanya Huff wrote very short pieces, but the intros by Donaldson and George R.R. Martin were particularly interesting.
This anthology brought several good stories to my attention that I likely would never have otherwise read, notably the Wyndham and Doyle/Macdonald pieces. There's a lot of good fiction in here for a low price. Check it out.
The stories were engaging and covered a wide variety of styles. I'd love to see another made with the same premise.
I'd opt for the cheaper paperback version though, this one seems a bit high priced.
In this anthology I was reintroduced to some old favorites, and discovered some new ones. Covering the range from Dickens to DeLint. I only found one dud in the group.most anthologies have more than one so I find this a good thing.
Strangely I have never read Jack Vance before, That will soon be remedied I though his stories some of the best in the book.
One more to mention was the one chosen by Stephen R. Donaldson The Dancer from the Dance by M. John Harrison. That story is a real glimpse into the fantastic. Amazing, Another author I will seek out.
Oh, yeah the bad one,(remember this is my opinion) Mopsa The Fairy by Jean Ingmow I honesty thought my head would explode, too long and too, way too, repetitive.
Overall, well worth the price for this fan of fantasy.
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