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The Way of the Wizard Paperback – November 16, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Anthologist extraordinaire Adams (Federations) once again strikes gold with 33 original and reprinted tales of wizardry in a wide variety of settings, from the medieval (Mike Resnick's "Winter Solstice") to the modern (Jeremiah Tolbert's "One-Click Banishment"). George R.R. Martin effortlessly creates a convincing mythic world in "In the Lost Lands," wherein a knight tries to discourage his lady's interest in shape-shifting. Resnick's contribution movingly depicts Merlin suffering dementia-like effects from living backwards in time. A peasant endures numerous trials at the hands of a wizard king in Susanna Clarke's humorous "John Uskglass and the Cambrian Charcoal Burner," while Wendy N. Wagner's "The Secret of Calling Rabbits" is a melancholy and deeply affecting account of the last days of the last dwarf. Adams just keeps getting better and this anthology is no exception. (Mar.)
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About the Author
John Joseph Adams, called "the reigning king of the anthology world" by Barnes & Noble, is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as EPIC, OTHER WORLDS THAN THESE, ARMORED, UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS: NEW ADVENTURES ON BARSOOM, LIGHTSPEED: YEAR ONE, BRAVE NEW WORLDS, WASTELANDS, THE LIVING DEAD, THE LIVING DEAD 2, BY BLOOD WE LIVE, FEDERATIONS, THE IMPROBABLE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, and THE WAY OF THE WIZARD. He is a four-time finalist for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. He is also the editor and publisher of LIGHTSPEED and NIGHTMARE, and is the co-host of Wired.com's THE GEEK'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY podcast. Forthcoming anthologies include THE MAD SCIENTIST'S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION (Tor Books, 2013), WASTELANDS 2 (Night Shade Books, 2013), and ROBOT UPRISINGS (Doubleday, 2014). Find him online at johnjosephadams.com and on Twitter @JohnJosephAdams.
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Top customer reviews
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I would probably rate it 4 stars because I reserve 5 stars for the rare insanely great books. But for a compilation of short stories, and therefore very low expectations, this goes to 5 for overcoming those expectations and some. Of course some stories are better than others, but none that were just horrible.
Sometimes the ties are *definitely* loose....I'm not really sure that if I'd been the editor I would have put stories like "Card Sharp" (about a man with a deck of magical cards) or "The Wizards of Perfil" (in all honestly not quite sure WHAT that one's about) in the collection, but that's the great thing about collections like this. If you don't like a story, just skip to the next one!
There are some extremely excellent gems in here--Neil Gaiman's "How to Sell the Ponti Bridge" is superb, and Zimmerman-Bradley's "Secret of the Blue Star (while a repeat from another series) more than balance out the handful of duds. And of course as always with a collection of this nature, one reader's dud is the next reader's gem.
Recommended for any fan of the fantasy short story.
However, I would like to get my hands around the neck of the person who told John Joseph Adams that he is a good editor--let alone a good writer. His introductions are wordy, often irrelevant or misleading, and occasionally either sexist or racist. I might have enjoyed the book much more if it had been edited by someone else.
I'd say just buy it for Howard's story, enjoy as many of the others as you can, ignore the rest, and whatever you do, don't read Adams' introductions.