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Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy Mass Market Paperback – May 28, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Strahan is a multiple award-winning editor and anthologist. He is also the reviews editor of Locus. He lives in Perth, Western Australia with his wife and their two daughters. He has previously edited two exceptional SF anthologies for Solaris: Egnineering Infinity and Edge of Infinity.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris; paperback / softback edition (May 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781081182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781081181
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,353,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before I get to my review, I want to offer a friendly public service message to those who are fortunate enough to be reading and voting on the various genre awards. Go ahead and pencil in Fearsome Journeys as this year's winner for best anthology, and Jonathan Strahan as winner for best editor. That's right, find your nomination form, jot the title down, put a huge asterisk beside it as the likely winner, and focus your reading efforts on those categories yet be decided.

Okay, so maybe I am being a bit facetious, but it really is that good!

Short story collections are problematic for me. On the one hand, I like being able to sample authors in small doses, and to get a feel for their work, or to simply pay a brief visit with old favorites, no strings (or subsequent volumes) attached. On the other hand, I find them wildly uneven in terms of content and quality, with the weakest entries unfairly dragging down my overall impression of the collection as a whole.

Much to my delight, Fearsome Journeys has proven to be the rare exception to that rule. There were a few stories here that didn't completely wow me, but I can honestly say I still enjoyed them all. While those few suffer by comparison against their companions here, they likely would have come across as some of the better entries in a different collection. There are several authors here who have just shot to the top of my TBR pile, based on the strength of their contributions, and a few others who've absolutely demanded I immediately rectify their absence from that same pile.

The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats by Scott Lynch was a great choice to lead off the collection. It's fantastic in every sense of the world, with a world and characters I would gladly revisit.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fearsome Journeys is an anthology of fantasy short stories, most of which are quests or at least quest-adjacent. Though editor Jonathan Strahan intends it to encompass a wide spectrum of modern fantastika, I found the my favourites tended more towards the low-magic grit of Fahfrd and the Gray Mouser's end of the spectrum than elf-strewn high fantasy. It's a solid collection from some excellent fantasy writers.

Military fantasy gets a good look in with Scott Lynch's opener "The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats", which pits a band of highly competent mercenary wizards against an enemy with a battlefield super-weapon, and of course Glen Cook's contribution is another amusing and alarming tale in his long-running Black Company series "Shaggy Dog Bridge: A Black Company Story". Trudi Canavan's hard-edged "Camp Follower" ranges from gritty military fantasy to a high-magic showdown. Kate Elliott shows a bloody political skirmish from the point of view of civilians caught in the middle in "Leaf and Branch and Grass and Vine".

Saladin Ahmed's "Amethyst, Shadow and Light" was one of my favourites - a sword and sorcery heist in Fritz Leiber-ish tradition, featuring a rabbit warrior-woman and a barbarian named Zok. No, no, it's really good.

Another favourite was K J Parker's "The Dragonslayer of Merebarton", featuring a retired knight whose social obligations unfortunately include dragonslaying. This one had a light if somewhat weary tone and may have been the pick of the collection. I also enjoyed the amusing "Sponda the Suet Girl and the Secret of the French Pearl", a screwball comedy about thieves and con artists.

This is a fine cross-section of fantasy fiction that I would recommend to anyone looking to sample the genre.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
And I mean in all genres, not only in Fantasy which is the core of this collection.

All shorts very well written, funny when funny is the mood, suspensefull when such is the objective. Being and avid reader and collector of the genre I got the very good bonus of being able to be introduced to several writers i know nothing about, and will now further explore.

A very very good book, with many a very good read.

Loved it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
and liked it so much I wanted to add a review.. Hope the promised 2nd in the series does come out and is as much fun as the 1st.
The only story I didn't reread was The Dragonslayer of Merebarton by K J Parker; it affected me too strongly with the last few paragraphs .... The author was good enough to turn the empathy and engagement of a comfortable read to a sudden hammer of heartache. Others may view it differently having had different lives.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With this book you'll get a taste of various writing styles with entertaining characters and some funny plot twists. Without having to read through the whole history of yet another world but with enough details to get you hooked, it's an excellent read for those "moments in between". I liked most stories and will definitely check out some of these great masters of Fantasy.
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Some of the stories were quite good. I purchased it mainly for the Glen Cook Black Company piece, which was a bit disappointing.
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