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The Crafters Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1991
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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The Crafters (and its sequel, brilliantly named Crafters II) is a "shared universe" novel, a subgenre that was popular in the late 80s and into the early 90s, when this book came out. (The most successful of the Shared Universes was Thieves World.) Essentially, it's magical historical fantasy, short tales that follow the history of a family starting in the 1600s and continuing (in this first book) into the 1800s. The family rejects the label of "witchcraft," because by their definition that means a pact with the devil; their Talent is guided by alchemy and science.
As with any set of short stories, the quality is uneven based on the contributor, and there are a occasional discrepancies. But none of these stories is a clinker. The authors who contributed include names that later became much better known, or were "names" at the time: Katherine Kurtz, Christopher Stasheff, Robert Scheckley, Esther Friesner, Ru Emerson, Jody Lynn Nye.
There's nothing deep in this set of stories, but they're fun: a good accompaniment to a beach chair and a cold beer. Don't go WAY out of your way to get a copy of this book (though I see that Amazon has plenty of used copies for very little money), but it's worth picking up if the opportunity presents itself.