I enjoyed the Faery Reel quite a bit. Something that Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling do well is give you a flavor of many different authors' styles. This anthology is no exception to that. So without further ado, the stories:
THE BOYS OF GOOSE HILL by Charles deLint
An interesting poem about mischevous faires. it is supposed to go to the tune of "The Meet Was at Matthews" by Jimmy Crowley.
CATNYP by Delia Sherman
A short story about a girl living in a fairy New York who tries to win a bet that humans know more than fairies about love. Throw in a personable library database, a boy searching to get to the human world, and boons--you've got the story. I enjoyed it so much that I am going to read The Changeling the newly released book about the main character in this story.
ELVENBROOD by Tanith Lee
A haunting modern-day story about fairies taking young children back to their land. They can't take the child unless one of the parents "sells" them for something better, whether or not the parents are aware of it.
TENGU MOUNTAIN by Gregory Frost
An interesting story with an intriguing basis in legend and history. The story is about a Japanese boy visiting his aunt only to find himself in a sticky situation: he is to be the main course at a feast!
THE FAERY HANDBAG by Kelly Link
A creative story about a handbag that contains a whole fairy world. The main character is forever searching for this handbag because she was supposed to look after it after her grandmother died. She also has personal connection to it by someone who jumped into the handbag.
THE PRICE OF GLAMOUR by Steve Berman
I have to admit I did not care for this story particularly but that is a matter of taste. It's rather dark. Poor Tup is in charge of collecting stolen goods for his demanding boss. In order to disguise oneself as a human, the fey must either have glamour (a sort of powder) or the Sight because all the iron in the city destroys their natural ability to disguise themselves. Caught one day trying to steal glamour, Tup ends up being endentured for 12 years. When Tup has his secret cache stolen, his ticket to freedom, he is determined to catch the thief.
THE NIGHT MARKET by Holly Black
A fast paced tale about a girl trying to save her sister from an elf's curse. Tomasa, the main character, goes to the night market, the fairies' market, in order to break it. Soon the elf does not seem so bad afterall.
NEVER NEVER by Bruce Glassco
"What could I have possibly done to deserve eternity as the plaything for some...juvenile godling? (pg. 235)" Captain Hook asks Tiger Lily. Tinkerbell, because of Peter's requests, brings in new amusefments for him that never leave the enchanted land--such as Tiger Lily's village or Captain Hook's ship. Cursed to live there forever, or at least until madness takes over, Hook is miserable. Tinkerbell takes pity on him and grants him one wish.
SCREAMING FOR FAIRIES by Ellen Steiber
A very facinating tale that is definately grown up in its tone. Two fairies appear to Cherry. She feeds and talks to them. Enter boyfriend who Cherry longs to make love to but is afraid because she is a virgin. The story is definately a glorification of "primal instincts" insisting we all have a connection with the earth and a beautiful chord of intense passion hidden within. It's an interesting sotry in the fact that it makes you feel airy but rather too dangerous in its message to continually read.
IMMERSED IN MATTER by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
A faery mother + a human father = basically faery with specializations
A human mother + a faery father = half faery/half human
An interesting short story introducing the concept that the half faeries are also, deep down, related to animals. Owl, through his desire to meet horses, learns to notice others and learns about the world. See "Flotsam" in Firebirds for a story of a similar nature.
UNDINE by Patricia A. McKillip
All undines capture mortal men and bring them back to their underwater homes. Eventually, if the men don't escape, they die and the undines find others to take their places. This sthort story tells of an undine trying to catch her first man but things don't go exactly as planned.
THE OAKTHING by Gregory Maguire
When the Grandomtoher is left behind after her family abandons their farm she finds herself alone in a village with impending advance of enemy soldiers. She befreinds an oakthing-a twiggy creature that inhabits the oak tree on the farm. The woman learns to fend for herself. This is primarily a tale of death and life, showing the fine lines between the two.
FOXWIFE by Hiromi Goto
Quite an interesting story about an unlucky girl named Yumeko. She seems to find bad luck wherever she goes and the day the story takes place is no exception. When her boat capsizes she soon finds herself in the midst of a wedding procession for kitsune and becomes their prisoner.
THE DREAM EATERS by A.M. Dellamonica
This story starts out bizarre and confusing. From what I can gather, Mo and Liz are both girls from a group home. Mo, through stealing some money, starts her own business,-Lopside Fashions-which takes off. Now one of Mo's friends, a little girl named Peg, has disappeared, spirited off by fairies. Mo and Liz are determined to get her back. Together they go to Kasqueam, a fairy city that co-exists with their own. There fairies store dreams for it is through dreams that fairies are able to gain items. But Mo and Liz aren't about to let the fairies steal Peg's dreams.
The description of fairies is to be particularly noted. Fairies live one day (even though it is a very long day) and can grow 30-50 feet tall. They are born in the morning and reproduce at twilight. Their eggs are "incubated" in human lungs, inhaled when humans breathe.
THE FAERY REEL by Neil Gaiman
A poem about a man, when young, split his soul in two. While one part stayed in the human world the other lived in faerie.
THE SHOOTER AT THE HEARTROCK WATERHOLE by Bill Congreve
A young man is hired to stay at an oasis-like area in the Australian wilderness in order to shoot animals not native to Australia. His employers hope that the young man will stop invading animals before they reach the agricultural areas. And so the young man lives out a fairly boring existence until he accidentally shotots and kills a strange woman. And thus begins the young man's rigorous examination of death and life. Interesting themes dealing with life, death and the supernatural. Great symbolism with water. I understand why this story won an award.
THE ANNALS OF EEALIN-OAK by Jeffrey Ford
Facinating and creative story about fairies that inhabit sandcastles (Twilmish they are called). A Twilmish lives only as long as the castle exists so they must choose their castle wisely. They usually look for castles which are made by children by hand, don not have sand crabs, have a protective wall in order to hold back the sea, and ones that are already named (pg. 473). This story is mostly comprised of a "diary" of a certain Twilmish--his adventures, activities and contemplation.
DE LA TIERRA by Emma Bull
The authoer obviously put some thought into the story. De la Tierra is a tale of old and new. Somewhat nebulous, the story hints at right and wrong but never states it clearly. The tale involves a modified human doing the "dirty work" for shapechanging fairies. These fairies, in order to protect their way of life, hire hitmen to take out fairies who do not blend in with the urban world.
HOW TO FIND FAERY by Nan Fry
A poem not only describing how to find a fairy but also how to appreciate the magic found in nature and ourselves.