Lena’s parents gave up everything to help support her through cancer. But now all she wants to do is fly… what will the cost be?
I really loved this mix of circus performers and vampires. It was fun and exciting. And you constantly hoped for the best where Lena was concerned. Her battle for health and happiness was beautiful, and for me, this story became less about vampires and more about finding your happily ever after.
It was kind of sad that Lena’s happily ever after really, really didn’t involve her parents. After all, they are beautifully kind and supportive. Although, I suppose that we all find a happily ever after that really doesn’t involve our parents…
I always love stories by Delia Sherman. This one was no exception and I absolutely adored this tale. I love the imagery of the circus and a trapeze artist. The cats and the bats. Everything worked so beautifully and seamlessly together. Leaving me with a huge, happy grin on my face.
Prepare to be seduced by powerful magic — the sorcery of lust, need, and sensuality. Multiple award-winners Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have gathered together twenty-two tales of unearthly temptations wickedly concocted by some of today’s most potent literary conjurers — including Neil Gaiman, Jan Yolen, Michael Swanwick, and Joyce Carol Oates. Here are stories of incubi and succubi, of forbidden fruits harvested in erotic gardens, of pleasures that persist beyond death. So heed the sirens’ song. Lie back, relax, and submit to the darkest delights you have ever experienced.
This collection isn’t quite toe curling, it isn’t quite horrific, but a nice mix between the two. It makes you think about the weirdness of sexuality. And the uniqueness of those things that go bump in the night. And thrive upon our sexual, deepest, darkest desires. I was honestly expecting this to be a little more of an uncomfortable read. However, mostly, I just found it intriguing.
This is a great collection of some very familiar authors, and some very new authors. It was a good way to depart from the realities of the world and be entertained by the imaginations of some very creative people. It wasn’t necessarily my favourite collection ever, the thread tying each of these tales together wasn’t as distinct as other collections. But it was a seriously enjoyable journey regardless.
This is definitely a collection that I’ll pick up again at some point in the future. It’s fun, light and easy. Also, there are a number of authors that I still need to hunt out books for… I enjoyed each and everyone of these stories.
In this thrilling collection of original stories, some of today’s hottest paranormal authors delight, thrill, and captivate readers with otherworldly tales of magic and mischief. In Jim Butcher’s “Curses”, Harry Dresden investigates how to lift a curse laid by the Fair Folk on the Chicago Cubs. In Patricia Briggs’s “Fairy Gifts”, a vampire is called home by magic to save the Fae who freed him from a dark curse. In Melissa Marr’s “Guns for the Dead”, the newly dead Frankie Lee seeks a job in the afterlife on the wrong side of the law. In Holly Black’s “Noble Rot”, a dying rock star discovers that the young woman who brings him food every day has some strange appetites of her own.
Featuring original stories from twenty authors, this dark, captivating, fabulous, and fantastical collection is not to be missed!
This is a seriously diverse collection of urban fantasy short stories. Not to mention fun and engaging. Probably moving right to the top of my list if I’m being honest. Normally my purview of urban fantasy is kind of small. But the breadth and width of these stories and the style in which they’re written… just wow.
I loved the fact that most of these short stories were standalones. I used to really enjoy finding new series through short stories and novellas. But, I have so many now that sometimes just reading a standalone without having to hunt out more of that world (I’m obsessive, I do this EVERY time) was kind of nice. I got a great taste of the imaginations and storytelling talents of a variety of authors, without actually feeling the need to buy more, more, more. Honestly, there is nothing worse than finding myself a new series to obsess over and then realising that I have a whole slew of new books to buy…
Although this is an urban fantasy collection, it does have a darker twist to it than usual. Every single one of these stories is a little bit dark, a lot bit fun and most don’t have a happy ending. Which, I tend to love, because I get a bit over all the happily ever afters… but it’s definitely something to keep in mind as you rip through the stories.
Gaslamp fantasy, or historical fantasy set in a magical version of the nineteenth century, has long been popular with readers and writers alike. Many wonderful novels, such as Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and The Prestige by Christopher Priest, ower their inspiration to works by nineteenth-century writers, including Jane Austen, the Brontes, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope. And, of course, the entire steampunk genre and subculture owes more than a little to literature from and inspired by this period.
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells is an anthology for everyone who loves neo-Victorian fiction and modern fantasists using vintage settings, characters, and themes. Their approaches stretch from steampunk fiction to the Austen- and Trollope- inspired works known as fantasy of manners. The result is eighteen stories by experts from the fantasy, horror, main-stream, and young-adult fields, including both bestselling writers and exciting new talents, who present a bewitching vision of a nineteenth century enhance (or cursed!) with magic.
This is an absolutely brilliant collection. One that I didn’t want to put down and introduced me to a whole new genre. It’s my first ever Gaslamp collection, and although I found some of the stories throughout a little weird and intense… I also loved the vast majority of them. Enough so that I plan to read this again and again in the future.
I was expecting a pretty simple and balanced collection. I
really wasn’t expecting such a convoluted and twisted set of stories. But, as
I’ve often found in life, it’s those unexpected surprises are the best and most
exciting aspects of life. They’re the moments that you don’t want to forget
because they were unplanned. And this anthology kind of felt like that.
I tend to read a lot of short stories late at night. Or when
I’m just needing a quick little break from the many complexities of my PhD. This
is not the collection that does that for me. It’s seriously intense, completely
unexpected and very full on. The kind of short stories that you want to read
when you have your concentrating brain working… not when it’s late at night and
you just want some easy entertainment…
Coyote. Anansi. Brer Rabbit. Trickster characters have long been a staple of folk literature – and are a natural choice for the subject of the acclaimed Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s third “mythic” anthology. Twenty-six authors, including Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Charles de Lint (Little (Grrl) Lost), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters), Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow) and Jane Yolen, have crafted stories and poems drawing from cultures and traditions all over the world – each surprising, engrossing, and thought provoking. Terri Windling provides a comprehensive introduction to the trickster myths of the world, and the entire book is highlighted by the remarkable decorations of Charles Vess.
The Coyote Road, like its companions The Green Man (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and The Faery Reel (a World Fantasy Award Finalist), is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary fantastic fiction.
This collection took a long time to read. Yet, I absolutely
adored it. Mostly it took a while to read because there were so many short
stories filling the pages, and whenever I finished one, I often went searching
for more stories by the authors I was discovering. My wishlist has grown by
leaps and bounds since starting this collection.
Like many of the Ellen Datlow collections lining my shelves, the theme and collected authors in this are brilliant. Each and every story is perfectly curated to match into the theme of Tricksters. Often in surprising and confusing ways. After all, the prefect trickster never does what is expected, and many of the stories in this managed to take me by surprise.
I would suggest this collection to anybody who loves short
stories, fantasy, mythology, tricksters… really I would just suggest it to almost
anyone. There are sad stories and happy ones. Insanely complex tales and ones
that are so beautifully simplistic. Definitely one of those collections that
I’m going to read again and again.
Title: How the Pooka Came to New York City Author: Delia Sherman In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect) My Bookshelves:Comedy, Fae, Urban fantasy Dates read: 4thy July 2019 Pace: Medium Format: Short story Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Year: 2011 5th sentence, 74th page: The shoat it belonged to squealed and bolted, leaving only four and their dam for the Pooka to fight.
The Pooka is a trickster of marsh and bog. So he’s not entirely sure why he’s in New York City, but maybe he should just make the best of his situation…
Most of the fae stories I read form some mentioning of the immigration
of the Fair Folk to America in some way, shape or form. There’s always a
mention of the industrial revolution and a discussion of how hard it was, even
for these supernatural immigrants. But I’ve never read a story that actually
takes place in this time. That talks about those first moments off the boat in
a whole new world that is just as convoluted and confusing to the fae as it was
to the humans. Until now. And I find that I kind of love it…
As with all of the other short stories I’ve read by Delia Sherman, there is a great level of wit and humour to this story. And a slight twist to it that made it so much more fun and more difficult to put down. But, mostly I loved the nature of the trickster and the weird juxtaposition of a man who is accompanied by a fae who is supposed to save him. When the fae is so iron sick that he can barely save himself…
I loved the vivid descriptiveness of this story. I felt like
I was actually standing next to the Pooka as he discovered a new world.
Trudging through a new reality that I didn’t understand or quite like… but one
that had so much potential.
She’s locked up in the dusty old archives trying to decipher the spells of a long-lost queen. But, when she finds out the secret behind the words, she’ll have to decide what to do with her knowledge.
As an introduction to Gaslamp fantasy, this was kind of fantastic. And the fact that it was a short story written by an author that I’ve already kind of fallen for… well, that was sort of perfect. After all, this story mixes magic, sexism and a healthy dose of pride and power. Actually, the voice which told the story was one that I immediately connected with and didn’t ever want to leave.
Queen Victoria is a
fairly pinnacle character of Victorian tropes – as soon as I saw the title of
the book and the story, I started to think about the time and reality in which
this story was placed. But, reading a diary from a young girl who supposedly
ended up marrying for love and who faced some very difficult hurdles to her
crown. All before she fully grew into her own powers and strength, was a great
adventure. It was a great theme and person to hang a story on.
One of the things that I struggle with in academia is the idea that one person’s opinions can seriously screw up your future (I’m very lucky with my academic supervisors). And that, in science and discovery, there are some things that might be a little too intense and dangerous to share. Again, not something that I actually tend to have to deal with, but it’s still a cloud that hovers over my thoughts. Sherman deals with these issues perfectly in a way that makes you really want to help the protagonist, and hope for the happy ending that is hinted in the final passages.
Title: The Faerie Cony-catcher Author: Delia Sherman In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect) My Bookshelves:Fae, LGBTQI Dates read: 20th April 2019 Pace: Medium Format: Short story Publisher: EOS Year: 1998 5th sentence, 74th page: For answer then, he tightened his grip upon those fair and ruddy jewels that Peasecod brought to his marriage-portion, and so wrought with them that the eyes rolled back in his lover’s head, and he expired upon a sigh.
Nick thinks that he is wise and well aware of the dangers of being on his own. But when he runs across a fae woman, he finds out that maybe he’s not quite as wise as he thinks… Will this lead him to his happily ever after, or something a little more sinister?
I’ve read enough Delia Sherman short stories by this point to realise that they’re never going to go the way I expected. Ever. And yet, I still thought that I knew roughly how this was going to go at about the halfway point. I was partly right – there is a happy ending. But it really wasn’t the kind of happy ending that I thought it would be… or the kind of coupling that I was expecting.
Without giving away the ending of this story (and why it is
in the LGBTQI shelf), I can tell you that one of the characters is really not
what I thought they were. And the reaction to this was kind of beautiful. I
thought that this was going to go haywire incredibly quickly. However, it led
to a great happy ending. And an acceptance of people who are just a little bit
different from ourselves.
This short story is in a collection of tales that are not going to fit the romance bill. But they do fit the scope of slightly twisted, kind of weird, and incredibly intense storylines. The off-kilter and unexpected storyline worked so well in this collection and now I can’t wait to pick up not only my next Delia Sherman story, but also read the next short story in the Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers collection.
From Master Anthologist Ellen Datlow comes an all-original book of weird tales inspired by the strangeness of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.
Between the hallucinogenic, weird, imaginative wordplay and the brilliant mathematical puzzles and social satire, Alice has been read, enjoyed, and savored by every generation since its publication. Datlow asked seventeen of the most brilliant and acclaimed writers working today to dream up stories inspired by all the strange events and surreal characters found in Wonderland.
I began my obsession with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in childhood, but kind of forgot about it until the last year – when I finally got around to reading the original story! And then my obsession began to take a bit of a turn for the… well, obsessive… so I bought this collection as soon as I found it. And opened the page within days of receiving it.
This collection takes all of the many aspects of Alice in
Wonderland and turns them around and around until your dizzy. From cute poems,
to horrific ideals about Alis and retellings
of particular aspects of the original. This collection of short stories and
poems has it all. And it is just impossible to put down!
My only piece of advice with this amazing collection is to
maybe not read these tales when you’ve been drinking. I tried a few times and it
just makes you feel incredibly tripped out. And confused. And just not really
sure where reality is situated… kind of like the original.
Title: The Fiddler of Bayou Teche Author: Delia Sherman In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Easy reading, Music, Tricksters Dates read: 24th March 2019 Pace: Medium Format: Short story Publisher: Firebird Fantasy Year: 2007 5th sentence, 74th page: Another man turns up with a washboard and a spoon, and he and Ulysse jump up on the table as ‘Dres Petitpas climbs down.
Cadence was bought up in the depths of the bayou, dancing her way through life happily. But, when her Tante passes away and she is accidentally spotted by ‘Dres Petitpas, her life of blissful peace is ended and a new one is about to begin.
I have a slight obsession with bayous and creole culture. Every
time I read stories surrounded by this, I’m unable to look away. They’re
beautiful and fun and there is just… something about them that makes me
deliriously happy. Which is why I loved this story so much. It had the feeling
of a fairy tale but was filled with a cultural backdrop that I know next to
nothing about, and always want to know more of.
This had such a beautiful fairy tale and folklore feel to it. There wasn’t a trickster in it specifically (like other stories in The Coyote Road), but the spirit of the trickster ran through. Not only in the setting of Bayou Teche, but also in the idea of a fiddler making a deal with the devil and a small swamp sprite gaining the upper hand.
I’m more than a little disappointed that this was such a
short story. The setting, the characters and the theme all make me feel like I
want to be sucked into this story for an entire afternoon, rather than minutes.