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Smart Dragons, Foolish Elves Paperback – April 1, 1991
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But the stories are actually pretty good too. This is a collection of a good 17 short stories that are generally pretty funny and (somewhat) stick to the title's stated premise--but not always. With this many stories there are of course hits and misses, but I was particularly fond of "As Is", "Thimgs", and "Bottle Party; they are all hilarious takes on classic situations. Even the "misses" are worth a good read.
There's a review here in which there are intimations of racism and/or outdated societal stereotypes being rampant in this collection. Nonsense....while there are some stereotypes they're not racist unless you're looking for that kind of thing. All they are is funny and sometimes necessary to make the story work. Definitely nothing along the lines of "Huck Finn" can sometimes be.
Recommended for anybody liking good, funny fantasy.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman has a story in here, "Savage Breasts", which is vaguely horrifying. Think possessed sentient breasts. Zelanzy's "Unicorn Variations" shows up, as it does in like a dozen other anthologies. Great story if you haven't read it. I enjoyed the majority of the stories to be honest, but I found a recurring theme is 'be careful what you wish for' often featuring djinn, and forgotten shops that disappear when you leave.
Overall, despite one or two duds, a collection of memorable short stories.
Some of the tales - such as the contributions from Roger Zelazny and Robert Silverberg - hold up extremely well. Their humor is character based, rather than situational.
Too many of the others, though, rely on stereotypical roles for women (secretaries, "needing a man", shrewish wife) or racist stereotypes about Jewish business owners for their humor. (I really don't know if the authors were/are Jewish themselves, but honestly, that's kind of beside the point.) Alan Dean Foster's introductions are, by today's standards, quite chauvinistic indeed.
As a result, many (over half) of the stories fall flat. Or you might find them funny - but unintentionally so. It's a shame, because the good stories herein *are* worth reading. Pick this book up at a library, or on the cheap at a used bookstore, if for no other reason than to realize how far we've come towards gender equity and race relationship since 1991.