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Paper Cities, An Anthology of Urban Fantasy by [Duncan, Hal, Rambo, Cat, Lake, Jay, Catherynne M. Valente, Anderson, Barth, Sparks, Cat, Berman, Steve, Warren, Kaaron, Sedia, Ekaterina, Nevins, Jess]

Paper Cities, An Anthology of Urban Fantasy Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 271 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

SignatureReviewed by Jeff VanderMeerOriginal genre anthologies have been a mixed bag in recent years, with an overreliance on established household names at the expense of nurturing new talent. At times, too restrictive themes have tended to create a sense of sameness. Not so with urban fantasy. As Jess Nevins points out in his excellent introduction, urban fantasy is a mode of storytelling rather than a subgenre, and as such accommodates a variety of themes and approaches. This idea of variety, along with a willingness to publish new and established writers alike, helps explain the considerable appeal of this ambitious and entertaining anthology. Stand-out contributions include Richard Parks's folktale-influenced Courting the Lady Scythe, Cat Rambo's ethereal The Bumblety's Marble, Jay Lake's sometimes brutal Promises; A Tale of the City Imperishable (set in the same milieu as his novel A Trial of Flowers), Ben Peek's more contemporary The Funeral, Ruined and Anna Tambour's indefinable but brilliant The Age of Fish, Post-Flowers. In Tambour's story, man-eating orms threaten New York City, despite the presence of an iconic wall. The nameless narrator's account of her group's attempts to survive is both matter-of-fact and mysterious. Similar elements power many of the other stories: a keen underlying intelligence and an easy acceptance of fantasy, with little explanation of that element, wedded to strangely resonant images and situations. Not every tale in the anthology is successful. Hal Duncan's The Tower of Morning's Bones continues his trend of excessive symbolism, summary and posturing in short fiction. Forrest Aguirre's Andretto Walks the King's Way, a forced march of a story illuminating different aspects of a feudal-era society, is an honest effort that never really comes to life. The editor also might have been better served excluding a couple of ill-advised short-shorts like Vylar Kaftan's workplace fantasy, Godivy. Yet for all of their flaws, even these stories display a high level of technical expertise and ambition. Rounded out by very good contributions from Mark Teppo, David Schwartz, Barth Anderson, Catherynne M. Valente and Cat Sparks, Paper Cities is a delightful and absorbing read. In coming years—as the talents collected herein, including editor Sedia, become better known—this quirky anthology may take on even greater significance. (Apr.)World Fantasy Award–winner Jeff VanderMeer's latest novel is Shriek: An Afterword (Tor, 2007).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The action of the stories of Paper Cities occurs, in some manner or another, in an urban setting. Their other aspects are as various as one could imagine. The collection opens with Forrest Aguirre’s “Andretto Walks the King’s Way,” set around a carnival and the arrival of plague. That’s followed by Hal Duncan’s characteristically bizarre and fascinating “The Tower of Morning’s Bones,” with its elements of familiar mythologies and a certain amount of nearly cyberpunk technology. The closer is Catherynne M. Valente’s “Palimpsest,” which denominates an ever-shifting city in which the vermin are made in a factory and maps appear on people’s skin. Other stories are about street kids, doomed love, the children of office workers and photocopiers, and ghosts; their settings range from the suburbs to the city of the future; and their approaches to the idea of the urban, what urbs are, and how we might interact with them as they become ever more fantastic, are wildly varied, intensely satisfying. --Regina Schroeder

Product details

  • File Size: 737 KB
  • Print Length: 271 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Senses Five Press (October 5, 2009)
  • Publication Date: October 5, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RWJ6UY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #950,986 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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