Magical Beginnings (Daw Book Collectors) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Feb 2003
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The best thing about this book would be the introductions by each author telling a bit about themselves and the story and how it came to be.
The stories, as one would expect from first published stories, are not of the world-changing variety. Perhaps the best is Peter Beagle's story, and that one isn't fantasy at all, nor science fiction.
The stories aren't bad mind you, some of them are reasonably good. The majority though are middle of the road pieces that are somewhat predictable showing the authors before they developed their voices.
This review may be coloured by the fact I had just finished both Wondrous Beginnings, and Assassin Fantastic. Both DAW anthologies also. This caused me to notice the line-up of the authors was virtually the same in this collection as in Assassin Fantastic. Thus, not really a great overview of the field, but a showcase for the current DAW workhorses(excepting a few). It would have been nice if they could have licensed short stories from authors currently under contract to other publishers for their novels. The collection would have been stronger had they gone farther afield rather than just showing off their own authors.
This was a good idea, but the roster of authors wasn't representative of the stars of the field in my opinion. Of course that does mean you may be exposed to new authors, which is always a good thing. Unfortunately, too many collections of the same authors has caused me a familiarity that has bred not yet contempt, but a bit of apathy.