Tag Archives: John Morressy

The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic edited by Mike Ashley

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic
Author: Mike Ashley, Steve Rasnic Tem, Richard A. Lupoff, Doug Hornig, Tom Holt, Tim Pratt, Diana Wynne Jones, John Morressy, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Kurland, Michael Moorcock, Robert Weinberg, Darrell Schweitzer, Ralph Adams Cram, Ursula K. Le Guin, A.C. Benson, Lawrence Schimel, Mike Resnick, Esther M. Friesner, Tim Lebbon, David Sandner, Marion Zimmer Bradley, James Bibby, Louise Cooper & Peter Crowther
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic, Short story collections
Dates read: 8th January – 7th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: “I heard all you field hockey chicks are lesbians,” Curly said, still smiling.

Synopsis

23 spellbinding tales of sorcery, wizardry and witchcraft.

From Gandalf to Harry Potter, sorcerers and wizards have always enthralled us. It is their power, above all, that we covet – the ultimate wish fulfilment of being able to do whatever we want – to fly, or make ourselves invisible, or to conjure something from nothing.

Here, from some of the most outstanding writers of fantasy, is a wonderfully varied collection of stories which explores the tensions and dilemmas in dealing with magic, from a child’s first struggle to control magical powers to epic clashes between the forces of good and evil.

Thoughts

It took me a little while to seriously get into this collection. But, once I did… I was completely hooked. I quite obviously love fantasy from the books that fill my shelves. But, as I’ve gotten older, I have found that I am drawn again and again to fantasy of a darker bent. Although not all of these short stories suited that desire, they just weren’t that dark… this collection was still seriously brilliant.

The stories in this collection just completely run the gamut. There are some serious, dark and twisted stories. Some that are fun and light. And a few that make you question the state of the world as we know it. All the stories were enjoyable in one way or another, although maybe not as memorable as some of the other short stories that I’ve read.

This is a great little collection. One that is interesting and fun. There was a lot surrounding ideas of chaos throughout, which makes it one of those collections that I’ll probably want to read again. There always seems to be this sense of confusion and intricacy about chaos stories that just makes me want to read them again and again.

<- The Mammoth Book of CthulhuTen Things I Know About the Wizard ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Timekeeper by John Morressy

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: Timekeeper
Author: John Morressy
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic
Dates read: 28th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 1989
5th sentence, 74th page: Perhaps she loves him, Mr. Lockyer.

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Synopsis

Mr. Bell has decided to open up his clock shop in a small town. His clocks might not be all that they appear though. As Monsoon and his cronies are about to discover.

Thoughts

Ideas of time change across the world. It’s an idea that completely fascinates me. So it kind of makes sense that a story about a timekeeper and conjurer finds it’s way into a collection of dark magic stories. Although this one isn’t as dark and twisted as the other tales, there’s still that sense of mystery and brutality that is present in the rest of the stories in this collection.

I love the idea of do unto others what you’d want done unto you. And this seems to be one that intertwines throughout this story. Mr. Bell is neither good nor bad… he doesn’t take sides but acts as an equaliser to others. For those who are good and need help, he is able to subtly provide that. But for people like Monsoon, he is a little more aggressive, and leaves people wondering where the bad man and his evil cronies have gone.

The timekeeper is a nice, soft version of tales of dark magic and dark fantasy. It has all of the integral aspects to it, but without the overwhelming sense of horror and discomfort that you sometimes get at the conclusion of the tale.

<- The Sage of TheareThe Double Shadow ->

Image source: Hachette Australia