Wednesday, November 27, 2002


One of the books Nikki picked up during out recent sojourn in the States is Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy, editied by Robert Silverberg. Silverberg, best known (to me, at least) for his Majipoor books eked out new novels from a number of authors set in the fantasy worlds that made them famous. The results are impressive. Among the worlds revisted are Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea, Stephen King's Dark Tower, Terry Prachet's Diskworld, Anne McCaffrey's Pern and more. There's something for everyone.

All the authors (except for Robert Jordan and Raymond Feist who both suffer my gross disinterest) serve up great reads. Prachet's "Little Fishes" stands out as a great example of storytelling, while Silverberg himself gives us a tale of Valentine during his years as Pontifex in "The Seventh Shrine".

But the gem of the anthology, my utter favorite, is from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

His novela "The Hedge Knight" is a delightful read. Set 100 years in the past from his current world's timeline, he writes about a not-so-bright Hedge Knight and the unexpected poltical circumstances that turn his world upside down. Martin displays the attention to detail that makes his series work, and frankly, I cannot wait for the release of the 4th book in the series: A Feast For Crows.

A collection of short stories would have been a treat, but the novellas of this book make for a hefty bite into worlds previously visited, or vistas yet to be discovered.


In the meantime, my guerilla readings of Clive Barker's Abarat have done nothing to endear me to the book. There is wonder a-plenty, but the storytelling and the characters themselves do nothing for me. And his illustrations hurt the eye. Still, it deserves to be read completely. Who knows? Maybe I'll get into the tale of Candy from Chickentown who is the only thorn in the Lord of Midnight's scheme to bring eternal night to the world of Abarat.

Or maybe not.


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