Tag Archives: Ralph Adams Cram

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

No. 252 Rue M. le Prince by Ralph Adams Cram

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

Title: No. 252 Rue M. le Prince
Author: Ralph Adams Cram
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley) & Gothic Short Stories (David Blair)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror
Dates read: 28th January 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 1895
5th sentence, 74th page: Soon after two o’clock Fargeau, who was in the next room, hour after hour, hearing nothing, very much bored, and disappointed.

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Synopsis

A night spent in a haunted house that was cursed by a fellow practitioner of the arts turns a non-believer into one who believes in a number of things. But at what cost?

Thoughts

A short story set in beautiful Paris. About a haunted (make that cursed) house. Definitely a great setting for such a tale. Although, I think that Paris probably makes a great setting for most stories, it’s a beautiful location. Adding a layer of darkness through this house to it… that’s just downright intriguing.

This short story had enough darkness and horror in it to give me pause. It didn’t leave me looking over my shoulder into the dark shadows to see what was hiding for me like some other stories. But, it did make me stop halfway through, take a deep breath and then plough onwards. It just left me somewhat uncomfortable and more than a little bit freaked out.

Although this was dark, mysterious and kind of intimidating, I had a strange feeling of peace when all was said and done. Which was an incredibly unusual reaction. One that I did find intriguing though. Not sure what it says about my psyche that after reading about a creepy, haunted house that has been cursed, I feel at piece. But we’ll leave that discussion for another day…

<- To Become a SorcererThe Bones of the Earth ->

Image source: Hachette Australia