Tag Archives: Richard Bowes

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.

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

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

The Coyote Road edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: The Coyote Road
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Pat Murphy, Carolyn Dunn, Steve Berman, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Christopher Barzak, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Klages, Patricia A. McKillip, Theodora Goss, Charles de Lint, Katherine Vaz, Caroline Stevermer, Midori Snyder, Michael Cadnum, Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth E. Wein, Kim Antieau, Will Shetterly, Kelly Link, Holly Black, Carol Emshwiller, Jedediah Berry, Jeffrey Ford, Jane Yolen & Kij Johnson
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Short story collections, Tricksters
Dates read: 11th March – 24th October 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: She handed me a message, one that read I was to be married to a stranger.

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

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.

Thoughts

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.

 <- The Cinderella Game Anthology ReviewOne Odd Shoe Review ->
Image source: Amazon

On the Slide by Richard Bowes

Overview
naked-city

Title: On the Slide
Author: Richard Bowes
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Time travel, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 11th July 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Grainy black-and-white detectives in suits and hats chased a gunman over the roofs of early 1960s New York.

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

He’s trying to slide through time to fix up the mistakes of the past. But is he going to be able to do this on the set of a movie?

Thoughts

It took me a little while to understand what was happening in this story. Mostly because it’s a short story in a collection of urban fantasy tales, and it didn’t quite seem like a fantasy until about three quarters of the way through. And then I started to really pick up on the nuances and quiet storylines that I’m beginning to recognise in Richard Bowes’ short stories. It was at this point that I decided I really wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again with more awareness.

The idea of sliding through time isn’t anything new, but the dreamy and twisty way in which Bowes tells the story made it feel a little newer. There was something that made you feel like you were sliding in and out of time as you read the story anyway, so when that final transition occurred, it wasn’t so shocking. Rather, it felt… inevitable.

In a collection of tales of urban fantasy, this was a nice, contemporary spin. There wasn’t the same level of supernatural and preternatural characters and stories which I’m used to. And I really enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try something new… especially when it takes you pleasantly by surprise.

 <- How the Pooka Came to New York City ReviewThe Duke of Riverside Review ->
Image source: Patricia Briggs

Black Feathers edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for black feathers ellen datlow book cover

Title: Black Feathers
Author: Ellen Datlow, Sandra Kasturi, Nicholas Royle, Seanan McGuire, Paul Tremblay, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Bowes, Alison Littlewood, Jeffrey Ford, Mike O’Driscoll, Usman T. Malik, Stephen Graham Jones, A.C. Wise, M. John Harrison, Pat Cadigan, Livia Llewellyn & Priya Sharma
In: Black Feathers (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 23rd January – 27th April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Pegasus Books Ltd.
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: A sudden croaking cry, and she turns to see the great blue heron flying overhead.

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

A dazzling anthology of avian-themed fiction guaranteed to frighten and delight, edited by one of the most acclaimed horror anthologists in the genre.

Birds are usually loved for their beauty and their song. They symbolize freedom, eternal life, the soul. But there’s certainly a dark side to the avian. Birds of prey sometimes kill other birds, destroy other birds’ eggs, and even have been known to kill small animals. And who isn’t frightened by birds who eat the dead – vultures awaiting their next meal as the life-blood flows from the dying.

In each of these stories, you will encounter the dark resonance between the human and avian. You will see in yourself the savagery of a predator, the shrewd stalking of a hunter, and you will be lured by birds that speak human language, that make beautiful music, that cypher numbers, and seem to have a moral center. You will wade into this feathered nightmare, and brave the horror of death, trading your safety and sanity for that which we all seek – the promise of flight.

Thoughts

This is my first collection of horror stories. Actually, it’s really my first ever horror novel. So reading this has been a very interesting journey. One that I was surprised to enjoy so much. And, although I didn’t really read any of these stories late at night, I also didn’t get any horrifying nightmares from the tales either. Unlike some of the crime, mystery and thriller novels that I’ve read.

Birds have always fascinated me. And I’ve been wanting to get a parrot for a little while. This collection definitely cured me of that desire. Actually, it cured me of really wanting anything much to do with birds for a little while if I’m being honest. This story not only used the symbolism and activities of birds as a catalyst for the tales of horror, but also pulled them out of your worst nightmares.

Pick this book up if you want a great introduction to the horror genre. And if you have a bit of a fascination with the avian community…

 <- The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eleven ReviewO Terrible Bird Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Mad Hatters and March Hares edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for mad hatters and march hares ellen datlow book cover

Title: Mad Hatters and March Hares
Author: Ellen Datlow, Kris Dikeman, Delia Sherman, C. S. E. Cooney, Jane Yolen, Priya Sharma, Richard Bowes, Stephen Graham Jones, Jeffrey Ford, Angela Slatter, Matthew Kressel, Seanan McGuire, Andy Duncan, Kaaron Warren, Ysabeau S. Wilce, Genevieve Valentine, Catherynne M. Valente & Katherine Vaz
In: Mad Hatters and March Hares (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Retellings, Short story collections, Wordplay
Dates read: 22nd December 2018 – 29th March 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tor
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Beyond it were the cells.

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

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.

Thoughts

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.

 <- Children of the Fang ReviewGentle Alice Review ->
Image source: Bookdepository

A Tale for the Short Days by Richard Bowes

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: A Tale for the Short Days
Author: Richard Bowes
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, Family, Tricksters
Dates read: 29th March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: And the others were very impressed despite themselves.

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

The God of Tricksters has been called on to help bring balance to a family in the Roaring Twenties. But, he is called on again and again throughout the following generations to try and find a way to correct the outlook of the family.

Thoughts

The mirror of folklore by using the idea of three aspects, or parts, of the trickster worked really well in this story. Part one tells the story of a young lady beseeching help from the trickster. Part two provides a little more of a mid-life crisis and lets you question the role of the trickster in the beginnings of the modern world. And, finally, part three highlights the end of an era, and the start of a new one. One in which the Trickster will either adapt and change or drown in the new world.

I love how this story takes the common themes of the trickster and twists and turns them to see how they fit into the modern world. But, not just alongside the modern world, but rather as an aspect of change as we’ve moved from old understandings to new.

A Tale for the Short Days is fun and thrilling. The kind of short story that I will be able to read again and again. Picking up something new each and every time.

 <- The Fiddler of Bayou Teche ReviewFriday Night at St Cecilia’s Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Season of the Raptors by Richard Bowes

Overview
Image result for black feathers ellen datlow book cover

Title: The Season of the Raptors
Author: Richard Bowes
In: Black Feathers (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Horror
Dates read: 18th February 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Pegasus Books Ltd.
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: When that happened, the parents stopped feeding them.

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

The countryside seems to be obsessed with birds of prey, and more specifically, the hawks that have taken up residence. But is there a more sinister side to this obsession?

Thoughts

The flickering between real world observations of the hawks and the dreamscape that the lead character finds himself in creates an incredibly spine tingling (and somewhat confusing) dreamscape across this storyline. It makes feelings of horror and goosebumps come to the forefront as the storyline unfolds. And leaves a feeling of uncanny confusion and, even slight obsession when you turn the last page.

I think one of the things that left me with the most intense goosebumps on reading this story is the fact that I myself have a slight obsession with raptors. There is something about them that really draws me in. So the fact that this is a story about obsession slowly turning into insanity… well, that is uncomfortable. Which kind of feels like the point of most of the stories in the Black Feathers collection

 <- Great Blue Heron ReviewThe Orphan Bird Review ->
Image source: Amazon