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Daw 30th Anniversary Fantasy Anthology (Daw Book Collectors) Hardcover – May 1, 2002
From Library Journal
To celebrate DAW Books's 30 years of publishing in the sf and fantasy genres, Wollheim and Gilbert have assembled these volumes that feature authors who have published under the DAW banner and whose works have made significant contributions to the field of imaginative literature. An essay by the editors (repeated in both volumes) relates the history of DAW and its founders, Donald and Elsie Wollheim, while individual author or editor commentaries introduce many of the stories. The fantasy collection includes a variety of stories, including Mercedes Lackey's expression of an author's worst nightmare ("After Midnight") and Christopher Stasheff's melancholy parable of a wizard's journey of bitter self-discovery ("Coronach of the Bell"). Contributions by other notable fantasy writers such as Tanith Lee, Melanie Rawn, and Lynn Abbey round out this collection of 18 tales. The sf anthology collects a stellar group of stories, including Brian Aldiss's cautionary tale of a space-faring warship whose passage results in the death of civilizations ("Aboard the Beatitude") and Tad Williams's wry recounting of the chat room at the end of the world ("Not with a Whimper, Either"). Stories by authors including Frederik Pohl, Timothy Zahn, and Kate Elliott are also among the 19 selections in this well-balanced volume. Together or separately, both books are recommended for most libraries.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
DAW Books, the oldest publisher dedicated to sf and fantasy, celebrates its longevity with a collection of stories by its roster of writers. DAW gave first American publication to such distinguished fantasists as Mercedes Lackey and Tanith Lee.The level of quality in this book is more than respectably high, though not all the contributors are as much masters of the story as they are of the novel. The introduction is a tribute by the editors to one another. As a retrospective monument and as good reading, this volume should appeal to any fantasy fan. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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In terms of sophistication, this anthology was a disappointment to me. I can, however, see that it might appeal to those who do prefer Young Adult fantasy. But there�s another problem. Most of the authors have apparently been writing about the same �worlds� for years. Most of stories are set in the authors� worlds. Many stories purport to fill readers in on some unexplained aspect of some other novel, or are jokes about characters obviously well known to fans.
In other words, many of the stories are not only written for fans of these authors, but do not stand well on their own. As a non-fan, I was usually rather bored, somewhat mystified�and not intrigued enough to hunt up any of the authors� other publications.
1 - Sow's Ear - Silk Purse by Andre Norton: A quaint little story with a spin on the "careful what you wish for" type of parable. It's about a woman who does not want to marry someone and seeks to become ugly and undesirable. Solid writing and a decent amount of description. It held my interest, but didn't really wow me. 3 out of 5.
2 - The Rebuke by Michael Shea: An interesting premise, but for me the execution was flat and uninteresting. Within four pages I no longer cared about the main character or his plight I was just waiting for it to get better, sadly it never did. 1 out of 5.
3 - Persian Eyes by Tanith Lee: Writing a mystery in as a short story has to be a challenge in the best of circumstances. I have never heard of Tanith Lee before, but after this short story I will certainly be looking for more from her. Solid writing, deeply engaging, and a fun mystery to watch unfold. 4 out of 5.
4 - Coronach of the Bell by Christopher Stasheff: This is one of those short stories that you lament when it is done, simply because it was not a novel. Very good writing, a very interesting plot. Another author I had not heard of before, but one I very much want to read more from. The story of a hermit and the choices he has to make. Simple, but elegant. One of my favorite stories from this anthology. 5 out of 5.
5 - Ending and Beginning by Jennifer Roberson: Yet another author I want to read more from. Very good writing, flow, and descriptions. Within two pages I was engage with the characters and wanted to know as much as I could about them and their situation. That's the feeling you should get from a short story. The dialogue is really well done in this one too. 5 out of 5.
6 - After Midnight by Mercedes Lackey: I know Ms. Lackey is widely popular, but I hated this one. It felt like she said "Oh I need to pound something out for this anthology." And what she produced was a conversation with herself while she was sleeping. The premise is blah at best and painful at worst. Simply put, I didn't care for this one in the least. 1 out of 5.
7 - Nightfall's Promise by Miriam Zucker: Another mystery as a short story. The beginning seems to struggle a little to set things up. However, once the setup is accomplished the story really picks up and becomes very interesting. Solid writing and a good all around tale. 4 out of 5.
8 - We Two May Meet by Tanya Huff: I know Ms. Huff's work from a Ravenloft novel. This is nothing like that. A humorous romp mixed with some psychoanalysis and a little bit of magic thrown in for good measure. A concept I have never before seen in a fantasy work, but one I hope to read again. Not the typical fantasy story, but a solid tale none-the-less. 4 out of 5.
9 - The Sacrifice by Melanie Rawn: I have to admit I struggled through this story. The flow just seemed choppy and uneven. The story seemed to rely to heavily on dialogue and that left me wondering what was happening and what the scene looked like. I was uninterested in the characters and story, I just didn't connect with them at all. A disappointing story. 2 out of 5.
10 - Heart-Healer by Deborah Ross: Another mystery rolled into a fantasy tale. It is about a healer who finds herself in the care of a body, barely alive, but is much more than what it seems. Good writing, solid dialogue, and an interesting plot. For the most part it held my interest and I was entertained. 3 out of 5.
11 - A Perfect Day in Valdemar by Larry Dixon: Another gem in this collection. The story of a military commander after being routed in an attack and an unusual friend he meets on his death bed. Great story, solid writing, and the dialogue really adds to the feel and urgency of the story. Another author I will try to find more from. 5 out of 5.
12 - Draconis Ex Machina by Phyllis Irene: Another story that I just didn't get. It seemed slow, sloppy, and not well organized. The dialogue didn't seem to help much either. I would have liked a little more description about what was going on instead of a mad rush to try and get through the story. 1 out of 5.
13: - The Hamlet by Marjorie Kellogg: This one seemed to have a good deal of potential, but once it was done I realized that potential stayed on the sidelines. This story is all about buildup and little follow through. I was hoping for more from this story than what I got. 2 out of 5.
14 - Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood by Jane Fancher: Odd for a short story, but I simply could not wait for this one to be over. I have never heard of Ms. Fancher but if this is who she writes I know I am not missing much. After the quality of some of the stories in this anthology I am left wondering why this one was included. 1 out of 5.
15 - The Memory of Stone by Michelle West: The first thing I noticed about this story was it wouldn't end. It's long, very long. When I read an anthology of short stories I expect short stories. The beginning of the story was quite good and had me interested in what was going to happen, but the longer it went on the less I cared. It's too bad really; this could have been a gem of the collecting. Instead it turned into mediocrity. 3 out of 5.
16 - The Huntsman by Fiona Patton: The concept of this story seemed rather interesting, but it suffers from uneven pacing. The characters, at least at the start are interesting, but as the story progresses they become uninteresting and flat. I wanted to like this story, but the degree of predictability and sub par dialogue did not help at all. 2 out of 5.
17 - Linked, on the Lake of Souls by Kristen Britain: An interesting story. Small and intimate in scope with good writing sprinkled in. It held my interest throughout and left me wanting to read more by this author. In the few pages of this story the characters became very real and I was immediately drawn into their predicament. 4 out of 5.
18 - It's About Squirrels by Lynn Abbey: I am very confused by the inclusion of this story in this anthology. It seems this one would have been better suited for the Sci-Fi version of this dual anthology set. It is set in modern times, and has a mythical plot line. Disappointed that this was the story they selected by Ms. Abby. 2 out of 5.
When all is said and done this is an average anthology. Certainly there are some very good stories within the pages, but more often than not there are stories that fall flat and feel as though they were rushed. I have always like DAW, as they produce some very good fantasy novels, this just seemed not up to par with their regular standards. I would encourage readers to read a select few of the stories here, but there really is no need to read the whole thing. Save yourself some time. I really wish I would have liked this book more.