These are but a few of the authors who have contributed to Stories - a collection of short stories collected and edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. In the introduction, Neil explains that they were looking for tales which cause the reader to say '..and then what happened?'; tales which come under the term 'fantasy' but in it's widest form. What they found were a variety of stories, by some great storytellers - not one feels like a failure.
Stories gives us over 400 pages, and includes contributions from no less than 27 authors. They can read in order, dipped into, or you can start by finding your favourites authors first. There's a range to choose from, and some of my highlights were Wildfire in Manhatten, about gods and goddesses living in America; Blood, in which an everyday man discovers a taste for the red stuff; Unbelief, about a very unusual assassination; and Weights and Measures, a quiet story of loss.
Stories was published in hardback in June 2010, and it somehow passed me by. Going by the limited number of reviews on amazon, and the lack of mention at my book forum, I think it's passed others by too. The paperback was published n April 2011, so there's no excuse to let it do so any more. This will appeal to lovers of short stories, as well as those who just enjoy a good story. It's great for holidays, for reading in the bath, and most certainly for re-reading. The only I want to know, is when will we see the next collection... What happens next?!