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Wizards: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy Paperback – May 6, 2008


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Trade; Reprint edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441015883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441015887
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,654,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran fantasists weave a variety of imaginative spells in this fine anthology of 18 original wizardry-themed tales. Neil Gaiman's charming opener, "The Witch's Headstone," introduces a boy raised by the dead and offers a sneak peek at a novel-in-progress. An Icelandic bride in modern Maine makes magic in Elizabeth Hand's outstanding "Winter's Wife." Mary Rosenblum, Patricia A. McKillip, Nancy Kress, Terry Dowling and Gene Wolfe notably conjure up diverse and indelible, coming-of-age stories featuring contemporary teens discovering their true natures. Garth Nix successfully mixes English legends in "Holly and Iron." The prophet Elijah appears as the "wizard" of Jane Yolen's "Slipping Sideways Through Eternity." What goes around comes around, even for wizards and monsters in Jeffrey Ford's "The Manticore Spell." Tad Williams, Peter S. Beagle and Orson Scott Card contribute indifferent stories, but overall this magical brew will enchant young adult readers and their elders as well. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Wizards have been popular in fantasy at least from Oz to Earthsea, occupying venerated positions as shamans and medicine men in aboriginal cultures stretching back to the Stone Age and forward to fin de siecle Kansas and beyond. In this collection of first-published tales, wizards are the puppet masters of schemes ranging from the amusing to the diabolical. Contributors include such venerable masters as Jane Yolen, Peter S. Beagle, and Gene Wolfe as well as such relative newcomers as Andy Duncan and Jeffrey Ford. Neil Gaiman offers the story of a boy able to communicate with the dead, who assigns himself the obligation of securing a headstone for a deceased witch. In Eoin Colfer's whimsical "A Fowl Tale," a talking dove begs for its next meal by explaining how Merlin gave him a con-artist's sensibilities. Terry Bisson's "Billy and the Wizard" describes an eight-year-old's encounter with a wizard sandwiched between the pages of a magazine. A creative spectrum of tantalizing themes makes the volume versatile and compelling reading for all fantasy fans. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book is chocked full of great short stories.
C. Nelson
Each story is written by a master at his peak; Neil Gaiman, Kage Baker, Jane Yolen, etcetera.
G. P. Mckenzie
Another thing I had to rethink after reading this book.
TeensReadToo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jackie M. Bachenberg on January 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Since this is a collection of short stories, it's very hard to rate the book as a whole. There are about 19 or so short stories included in this book that deal loosely with Wizards. I say loosely, since some of these really don't strike me as dealing with what most people would think is a wizard. The first story - "The Witch's Headstone" certainly doesn't fit into my idea of what a wizard is.

And since it's a collection of stories, some are good and some are not. My personal favorites are "Stonefather", "The Magic Animal", "Color Vision", and "Stone Man". I didn't think much of "The Witch's Headstone", "The Rudy Incomparable", "A Diorama of the Infernal Regions, or the Devil's Ninth Question", or "The Magikkers".

Since the stories covered the gamut from rather boring to really pretty good I just have to give the book and overall 3 stars. I'm sure that if you enjoy fantasy, some of these stories will appeal, some will not.

My star ratings:

One star - couldn't finish the book.

Two stars - read the book, but did a lot of skipping or scanning. Wouldn't add the book to my permanent collection or search out other books by the author.

Three stars - enjoyable read. Wouldn't add the book to my permanent collection. Would judge other books by the author individually.

Four stars - Liked the book. Would keep the book or would look for others by the same author.

Five stars - One of my all time favorites. Will get a copy in hardback to keep and will actively search out others by the same author.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carla Lilie VINE VOICE on September 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Wizards" is an outstanding collection of fantasy stories featuring some of the best known authors working in the genre. Some of the authors (Card, Kress, Gaiman), I was pretty familiar with. Some I knew only by reputation and a few were completely new to me. I found these stories were a great way to get at least a small feel for an author's style, although obviously it would be folly to judge an author on the basis of one story.
This collection is a nice mix of contemporary stories and more traditional fantasy. They range from the fairytale-like "Zinder" by Tanith Lee to the ultra-modern "Stone Man" by Nancy Kress. I personally enjoyed almost every story in "Wizards." I believe any reader of fantasy fiction would find several stories to appreciate.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. B. on October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
After finishing the first story, the well-told "The Witch's Headstone" by Neil Gaiman, I had a strong feeling I would like this collection. Then, the second story, "Holly and Iron" (Garth Nix), which skillfully mixes British history with fantasy, confirmed my feeling. According to the editors (Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois), they "asked some of the very best modern fantasists ... to write stories about that most potent of fantasy archetypes, The Wizard." Eighteen talented authors complied with eighteen unique and creative interpretations of the word. How awesome. That said, two (only two) stories didn't thrill me. One had great fantasy elements but a slim story, and I couldn't get past the first few pages of the other. However, that still left me with sixteen stories I savored. For me, one of the good points of this collection was it brought to mind authors I've known and loved (Jane Yolen and Patricia A. McKillip) while introducing me to authors I'll now seek out. My favorite tales were "Color Vision" (Mary Rosenblum), "Winter's Wife" (Elizabeth Hand), "Stone Man" (Nancy Kress), "Zinder" (Tanith Lee), "The Magikkers" (Terry Dowling), and "Stonefather" (Orson Scott Card). Other readers will come up with their own most and least favorites. Overall, I found this book well worth its price and the time spent reading it. If you like reading fantasy, I highly recommend these "Magical Tales From the Masters of Modern Fantasy."
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on June 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
You may think you know wizards. You may think you know magic. But the wizards in these stories just might have a few surprising tricks up their sleeves.

"The Witch's Headstone" contains a dead sorceress who's more kind than creepy, despite the warnings to the contrary. "Holly and Iron" centers around an ancient magical battle where one unprepared woman could unite or destroy two races. In "The Ruby Incomparable" the only daughter of Good and Evil has mastered most of the secrets of the universe, but she can't understand her own mother. In "Winter's Wife" money is no match for the power of magic. The list goes on, and each story will make you rethink what you thought you knew. Or maybe confirm it.

Some of the authors you'll recognize. Some may be completely new. All of them have found a fan in me.

I'll be the first to admit I usually dislike collections of short stories. I feel like I'm being cheated if they're good, and fooled if they're not. Another thing I had to rethink after reading this book. I fell back in love with the authors that I knew, learned more about ones that I'd only heard of, and discovered brand new obsessions. This is a must for fantasy fans, and a great introduction for newcomers.

Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Terri Rowan on July 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Jeannine R. Burkholder
on 07/13/2008

Fantasy stories ignite the imagination in ways that realistic fiction can not. Characters are larger than life. Conflicts mean life and death - often for an entire race or culture.

In this collection, editors Dann and Dozois, have collected unpublished short stories from a variety of well-known fantasy authors. Each story is about a wizard, but rarely do they appear in the pointed hat and starry cape (like the one on the cover of the book):

* Orson Scott Card introduces us to the mages of the elements, who draw their power and their forms from nature.
* Mary Rosenblum creates a magical world of colorful auras and a mysterious villain, threatened with oblivion by the real mask they wear.
* Terry Dowling takes us to a special school, where students make choices that affect not only their own magical power and abilities, but those around them as well.
* Journey through Hell and talk to the devil with stories from Andy Duncan and from Terry Bisson.

There is no way to give proper accolades to every story and author represented in this book. Pick up the book and choose one of the excellently crafted stories to embark on a magical mini-vacation today! There are 18 destinations to choose from; a little something to suit every fantasy reader.
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