Tag Archives: Peter S. Beagle

Naked City edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
naked-city

Title: Naked City
Author: Ellen Datlow, Jim Butcher, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Kushner, Christopher Fowler, Patricia Briggs, Pat Cadigan, Peter S. Beagle, Naomi Novik, Matthew Kressel, Kit Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Nathan Ballingrud, Melissa Marr, John Crowley, Holly Black, Jeffrey Ford, Lucius Shepard, Caitlin R. Kiernan & Elizabeth Bear
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 28th June – 26th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Out in Brooklyn in a couple of spots you can walk down a street and almost think it’s a hundred and twenty-five years ago.

Synopsis

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!

Thoughts

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.

<- CorpsemouthCurses ->

Image source: Patricia Briggs

Underbridge by Peter S. Beagle

Overview
naked-city

Title: Underbridge
Author: Peter S. Beagle
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Mental health, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 20th September 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: The months passed, and the weather turned relatively mild and notably dry.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Richardson just wants tenure, or, at the very least, a stable job. But his discovery of the Troll Underbridge might just change everything…

Thoughts

As someone who is halfway through her PhD and just entering the world of academics… I can completely understand Richardsons’ incredible need to just… crack. Right down the centre. With absolutely no finesse. Alright, I don’t actually want to crack, and I definitely wouldn’t do what he did… but we’ve all had our moments of instability, and I found Beagle’s take on this in this short story incredibly entertaining and intriguing.

We’re all a little scared of the things that go bump in the night. The creatures which hide under the bed in the dark. The ghouls which hide under our bridges and in the dark, hideaway places. Which makes the troll under the bridge a perfect feature for an urban fantasy short story. After all, they’re a fixture in fairy tales and fit that idea of the things that scare us – although, they don’t seem to show up as commonly in the stories… probably because they’re just not quite sexy…

For me, this short story highlighted the question “how far will you go?” For Richardson, I think the answer was kind of too far. But it still begs the question – how far would I go to achieve my goals? To get a steady job… I think that there may be a little of Richardsons’ darkness in all of us when we truly want something…

 <- Picking Up the Pieces ReviewPriced to Sell Review ->
Image source: Patricia Briggs

Troll’s-Eye View edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for troll's-eye view book cover

Title: Troll’s-Eye View
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Delia Sherman, Garth Nix, Wendy Froud, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Peter S. Beagle, Ellen Kushner, Joseph Stanton, Holly Black, Jane Yolen, Nancy Farmer, Michael Cadnum, Catherynne M. Valente, Midori Snyder, Neil Gaiman & Kelly Link
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Short story collections, Villains
Dates read: 12th December 2018 – 1st March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I could have wept.

Synopsis

Everyone thinks they know the real story behind the villains in fairy tales – evil, no two ways about it. But the villains themselves beg to differ. In this book you’ll hear from:
the Giant’s wife from “Jack and the Beanstalk”
the oldest of the Twelve Dancing Princesses
Rumpelstiltskin
the witch from “Hansel and Gretel”
someone called Evil Cinderella

Just watch these old stories do new tricks!

Thoughts

This is an incredibly easy, fun and engaging short story collection. It takes some brilliant authors who take you on journeys through well known fairy tales. The fact that these retellings all focus on the villains of the stories just made me love it even more. I always love the highlighting of grey areas and alternate tellings.

Troll’s-Eye View is a collection that is written for a very young age group. It’s simple and quaint. Easily accessible and fun. But, that doesn’t mean that as an adult you can’t enjoy it. There was nothing I enjoyed more than sitting down at the end of a long day and reading one of these short stories or poems. It was a great, fun and quick escape from the real world at a time when I’ve been really quite overwhelmed and stressed.

Most of my anthologies and collections contain only novellas and short stories. Troll’s-Eye View also has poems. They were enough to break up the flow throughout the story and leave you with a smile on your face.

<- Why Light?Wizard’s Apprentice ->

Image source: Amazon

Up the Down Beanstalk by Peter S. Beagle

Overview
Image result for troll's-eye view book cover

Title: Up the Down Beanstalk: A Wife Remembers
Author: Peter S. Beagle
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Easy reading, Fairy tales
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: The things they believe about us down there!

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

We all know about Jack’s journey up the beanstalk – but what really happened up there? The giant’s wife reveals all!

Thoughts

I love different points of view on fairy tales. And Jack and the Beanstalk is an incredibly well-known tale. The fact that this story is told with him as a kind of villain made this thoroughly enjoyable. After all, if you think about it… how does the good guy end up killing someone and stealing things? There is nothing very virtuous and “good” about this at all.

Although Jack is mildly cast in the role of villain… he is also looked upon with favour by the giant’s wife. After all, it is all from her point of view, and the frustrated affection she feels towards her husband (ew, who is called Harvey?) highlights her independence and intelligence. The fact that Jack is as quick-witted and quick-footed as the giantess and an equal match for her just made everything all the more entertaining. Especially when you consider the brilliant ending of this story.

 <- Rags and Riches ReviewThe Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Great-Grandmother in the Cellar by Peter S. Beagle

Overview

Under My HatTitle: Great-Grandmother in the Cellar
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Series: The Innkeeper’s World #1.5
In: Under My Hat (Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fantasy, Witches
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: And that was all we ever got out of him about Great-Grandmother.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Da’mas watched as the evil sorcerer with whom his sister fell in love placed the girl in a sleep that mimicked death. He tells Da’mas that she will not awaken unless she sees his face, something that will not happen unless Da’mas and his father agree to allow the wicked mage to marry her. Da’mas’s father is out of town, and he’s not sure how he can help his sister. He decides to go down to the cellar to awaken the great-grandmother he knows still lives there. As it turns out she is nothing but bones and must take over another’s body in order to help. Da’mas volunteers his body, and together, they set out to stop the sorcerer and save his sister from his clutches.

Thoughts

The title of this short story made me want to read it as soon as I saw the table of contents in the beginning of Under My Hat. After all, any story that has a great-grandmother buried in a cellar is bound to be good. Or at least, that’s the way my brain tends to work…

All families have skeletons in the closet – after all, there is no family that doesn’t have its black sheep. But in the case of this family… not so much a black sheep and not so much a closet, but more so a skeleton in the cellar. Plus, it’s a much more terrifying skeleton than any that my family have. Yet, this kind of works out all for the best. After all, it is this terrifying grandmother that ends up saving the day and protecting her family.

Although you know that somehow the boy will save his sister, the journey is still amazing. The way in which it is done is kind of unexpected, and it helped to make the adventure so much more interesting. Now I can’t wait to see how this short story works into The Innkeeper’s World.

 <- B is for Bigfoot Review Crow and Caper, Caper and Crow Review ->
Image source: Frances Hardinge

Under My Hat edited by Jonathan Strahan

Overview
Under My Hat

Title: Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
Author: Jonathan Strahan, Diana Peterfreund, Frances Hardinge, Garth Nix, Holly Black, Charles de Lint, Tanith Lee, Neil Gaiman, Ellen Klages, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Patricia A. McKillip, Tim Pratt, M. Rickert, Isobelle Carmody, Jane Yolen, Peter S. Beagle, Margo Lanagan
In: Under My Hat (Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy readingShort story collections, Witches
Pace: Medium
Format: Collection
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “Was he?” asked Mari.

Synopsis

Broomsticks.
Black Cats.
Pointy Hats.

They can mean only one thing – somewhere nearby, there must be a witch. From fairy tales to fims to fiction, witches cast their spells and capture our imaginations.

Now the biggest names in fantasy and young adult literature have come together to make a little magic of their own. Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Diana Peterfreund, Margo Lanagan, Peter S. Beagle, and Garth Nix are just a few of the authors who have toiled over their cauldrons and conjured up bewitching new creations inspired by and celebrating the might and mystery of the witch. Assembled by one of the most well-regarded anthologists in the science fiction/fantasy world, this rich, intelligent collection will enchant readers of all ages.

Thoughts

Short story collections are always good fun. They’re a great way to discover new authors, and the common thread through them can be so unique and different. Sometimes I even struggle to find the common thread! Not with this amazing collection though. It’s simple. Witches.

Strahan did a great job of putting together this fun and cute little collection of witch-y tales and I’m actually kind of disappointed that it’s over. Although I bought it to read B is for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher, the rest of the stories really jumped out at me. It’s actually difficult to pick an absolute favourite – they all had this twisted, fun, unexpected adventure that they took me on. Closing the cover of the book, I feel like I’ve gone on journeys through distant lands (and realms) and come back to land squarely on earth. Which is actually kind of disappointing… time to find my next epic journey of witchcraft and wings…

<- Crow and Caper, Caper and CrowStray Magic ->

Image source: Frances Hardinge