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Apprentice Fantastic Mass Market Paperback – November 5, 2002

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin H. Greenberg���was honored in 1995 by the Mystery Writers of America with the Ellery Queen Award for lifetime achievement in mystery editing. He is also the recipient of two Anthony awards. Mystery Scene magazine called him "the best mystery anthologist since Ellery Queen." He has compiled more than 1,000 anthologies and���is the president of TEKNO books.���He lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (November 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756400937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756400934
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,497,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mercenary writer... novel and anthology editor... publishing industry jack of all trades, master of some... husband, father, and occasional player of poker. Best-selling author and editor Russell Davis has written and sold numerous novels and short stories in virtually every genre of fiction, under at least a half-dozen pseudonyms. His writing has encompassed media tie-in work in the Transformers universe to action adventure in The Executioner series to original novels and short fiction in anthology titles like Under Cover of Darkness, Law of the Gun, and In the Shadow of Evil. In addition to his work as a writer, he has worked as an editor and book packager, and created original anthology titles ranging from westerns like Lost Trails to fantasy like Courts of the Fey. Russell teaches popular genre fiction for the MFA program at Western State Colorado University. He was the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) from 2008-2010, and a member of the Western Writers of America (WWA). His newest collection, The End of All Seasons, came out in March, 2013, and he's presently working on several new projects.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mostly well done; the others are noted as I come to them.

Bischoff, David: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice's Apprentice" Coarse, elderly Vincemole Whiteviper, apprentice to the dishonest adventurer Sir Harry Springraff, is narrating his memoirs to his own much-abused apprentice: how he lost what little fourteen-year-old innocence he had on a quest for a suspect wizard's treasury. The plan was for Vincey to seduce Relfalyn, the wizard's beautiful 18-year-old apprentice. Funny how things work out...The physical setting reminds me of an AD&D-based computer game.

de Lint, Charles: "Sign Here" Unusual style: entirely dialogue, without even "he/she said", 4 characters (2 appear only once), only 2 characters per scene. A stranger in a bar offered Peter enlightenment regarding the structure of the world - magic - if he'll sign over his soul. Peter's friend Robert employs unusual tactics to try to free him. The dialogue suffers from *too* much realism.

Friesner, Esther: "Homework" Parody by someone who's read the Evil Overlord checklist. Prince Gallantine is having trouble with his captor Morbidius, who's finally wised up. Then Morby's nine-year-old nephew Andy, seeking to avoid his villain apprenticeship homework, turns up. :)

Helfers, John: "Blood and Scale" A wizard's apprentice, offered only death as an alternative, agrees to become the apprentice of the dragon who wiped out the rest of his party.

Hoyt, Sarah A.: "The Muses' Darling" Shakespeare, as a young struggling playwright, is an apprentice to the meteoric brilliance of Kit Marlowe. This story takes Marlowe's treatment of Faust as having a personal application.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The conceit of Apprentice Fantastic is that each of the 13 stories are told about apprentices. As the stories are all fantasies, and as the most traditional fantastic trade to emphasize teaching is sorcery, most of the stories feature sorcerer's apprentices of one variety or another, though as Russell Davis takes care to hint in his introduction, none of them is a retelling of the famous story. In principal, this seems a sound theme around which to build a collection: coming of age stories should be plentiful, young heroes and heroines also plentiful, and we should have a ready-made excuse to learn the foundations of whatever magic systems are on display. I suppose all that remains true, but I have to say that the stories collected here are rather disappointing.

Among the more interesting pieces is the opening story, Michelle West's "The Augustine Painters." The central conceit here is quite interesting: certain people are artists with the ability to paint probable futures. This can be used for such purposes as avoiding accidents, or for more weighty business such as planning war strategies. I thought that idea nice, and I liked the heroine, a talented apprentice named Camille who must face a danger that may have consumed her friend and senior apprentice. But the story didn't quite cohere for me: it's a long story but I think it would have benefited from even greater length. It's followed by probably the best story in the book, Charles de Lint's "Sign Here", a story all in dialogue that takes a different look at the bargains possible when dealing with the devil for a soul. Esther Friesner's "Homework" is silly and feather-light but rather fun, about a dark lord and his bratty nephew, and the noble Prince Gallantine who must oppose them. David D.
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