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The Treasury of the Fantastic Paperback – August 15, 2013
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The Treasury of the Fantastic truly is a treasury of wonderful stories Turns out there's not a dud to be found.”
"A marvelous mix of classics and rarely seen works, bibliophile's finds and old favorites....a treasury in every sense and a treasure!"
-Connie Willis, author of Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog
The Treasury of the Fantastic is an amazing marvellous collection. I love the romanticism of early fantasy, it is very different to the type of fantasy we read now, and yet you can see all the seeds and sparks that inspire much of today’s fantasy. The Treasury of the Fantastic is an anthology that easily fits in on your book shelf.”
Fantasy Book Review
"The fantasy tradition in English and American literature is rich and varied and strange. This is the book to read to find out what you never knew you needed to know."
David G. Hartwell, editor of the Year's Best Fantasy series
It was an absolute delight to see so [many] of these authors collected here and finding new treasures I hadn’t realized really fell into the realm of fantasy.”
Tabitha Perkins, My Shelf Confessions
The Treasury of the Fantastic is truly that, a comprehensive collection of fantastical literature from throughout the many years covering the romanticism era to the early twentieth century.... an exquisitely curated collection....”
The Arched Doorway
About the Author
Jacob Weisman is the World Fantasy Awardnominated editor and publisher at Tachyon Publications, which he founded in 1995. He is the series editor for several anthologies, including The Secret History of Fantasy, The Urban Fantasy Anthology, and Crucified Dreams: Tales of Urban Horror. His writing has appeared in The Nation, Realms of Fantasy, the Courier-Journal, Seattle Weekly, the Cooper Point Journal,, and in the college textbook Sport in Contemporary Society.
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My second complaint is that the forward is ridiculous. It's just an old guy complaining about the current state of fiction and saying that the past is better. Thing is, when we look at past fiction the mediocre stuff has been lost to obscurity so we only see the good stuff whereas in modern times the mediocre stuff is still around us distracting from the good stuff. In a hundred years people will only see the good stuff from our time period and see just as high a standard as what we see from the nineteenth century. Besides, you don't have to hate on current literature in order to appreciate old literature.
My last complaint is the inclusion of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful story, I've read it multiple times and I love it. The problem is that it's realism, and its being realism is very important to the point that Gilman is making- thus it doesn't belong in a collection of fantasy. Sure, superficially it seems fantastical, but the fantastical elements are hallucinations and delusions by a narrator who is slowly going mad and the reader is supposed to understand this. Gilman has stated herself that this was her intention- she's making a point about how certain psychiatric practices of the day were as likely to cause madness as cure it. Sure, literature is up for interpretation and maybe the author doesn't have a monopoly on interpreting it. But including the story in a treasury of fantasy seems to push a certain interpretation and when that interpretation is contrary to the author's intent, that seems kind of wrong to me. I wouldn't make the same complaint about the inclusion of the story by H G Wells even though it could also be interpreted as realism through the point of view of someone going mad. This is because Wells' point doesn't change whether it's a hallucination or something real.
But enough negativity. The vast majority of the stories in this book are worth reading, so I do highly recommend it and I hope the editors do manage to make a treasury of stories from the next time period as they say they want to. I will certainly read that book if it comes out.
Being a long time lover of anything fantasy since the first time I set my eyes on something magical it was such a pleasure to read these stories by some of the masters in classic literature. Some of these stories I had already read before and many more it was my first time experiencing. It was an absolute delight to see so of these authors collected here and finding new treasures I hadn't realized really fell into the realm of fantasy. In the foreward there is even a criteria given of how the editors went about selecting which pieces to include. This might help clear things up for us readers if you perusing the name list and wondering why a particular author or other isn't here.
Keeping in mind that these are all works written between the early 1800s to 1923. So you definitely get that old world feel while you're reading. Admittedly, while I do enjoy the occasional classic literature it is not to my preferred reading taste. Mostly because you have to read it slowly to effectively absorb and process the writing. For this reason it took almost 4 months to get through this thick volume when normally I can read an anthology of this size in a month or two. This is not light reading and in my opinion it was best read in between my other novels or occasionally one every few evenings.
Normally when I review collections I give each price an individual rating but there were just too many (44) in this one. Suffice to say many I adored, others were good and very few I slogged through. If you're a classic literature can as well as a lover a fantasy then pick this up and experience some of the earlier works in the genre!
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