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The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity : We Will Not be Undersold; Changeling; Water-Called; The Roots of Aston Quercus; To Scratch an Itch; Continuing Education; How to be Human; How Much Salt; Hooked; Crash; Fixed; A People Who Always Know
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The stories are all a bit different. I especially liked one that was written from a human viewpoint rather than the fae view. Some of the books have the Celtic far in them others different folklore. All of the stories are well written and enjoyable to read.
For anyone who likes anthologies and interesting stories as to how the fae are fitting into our world today, this is a good read.
Unfortunately, The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity didn't live up to those expectations. While there were some interesting takes on how fae might survive in the modern world, the quality of the stories varied wildly. Several of the stories even seemed cut off at the end, leaving me hanging in limbo for resolution. In the end, it just seemed like a book trying to cash in on the popularity of the paranormal/urban fantasy genre and the relative lack of fae-based fiction in the market.
The conceit of the anthology is that traditional fantasy characters, elves and the like have to survive in the modern day. This keeps the epic down to a low roar.
The first story out of the shoot is Seanean McGuire's "We Will Not Be Undersold," which is a wonderful tale of selling one's soul (perhaps a bit too literally) to one's work. Anybody who's ever stepped foot in a "big box" discount store would appreciate this gem.
"Changeling" by Susan Jett is a fascinating story of a mother's love, and it's followed by "Water-Called," a story of science and fantasy intersecting in the form of a water fairy. "The Roots of Aston Quercus" marries the old concept of dryads with urban renewal and modern environmentalism. Avery Shade's "To Scratch an Itch" proved to be a fine coming-of-age tale.
The next story in the line-up, Kristine Smith's "Continuing Education" was a story I had the privilege of hearing the author read at a Chicago-area convention. It was unique in that Smith told her story from the point of view of a normal human, not (as in the other stories) from a fae. This was bookended nicely by Barbara Ashford's "How To Be Human (tm)," which was the story of a fairy trying to make a living as a motivational speaker to humans.
Anton Stout's story "Hooked" proved to be an interesting twist on a detective story, set in New York's Central Park. This was followed by S. C. Butler's story "Crash," also set in New York, which told the tale of what really happens if you get hold of a leprechaun's treasure.
"Fixed" by Jean Marie Ward was an interesting tale with a surprise ending, discussing the downsides of being able to change from animal to human form. Elizabeth Bear, one of the most prolific authors in SF and Fantasy, contributed a neat story called "The Slaughtered Lamb" which mixed traditional fantasy and very non-traditional gender roles. Closing out this anthology in strong fashion was my friend Jim C. Hines, going darker than his novel-length work with a short story called "Corrupted."
All in all, a very solid collection, and well worth your time, even if you don't read fantasy.
The theme of the anthology is broad enough to encompass different types of fae and restrictive enough to let the writers' creativity fly. It didn't disappoint.