books

Christopher Barzak

Books

Anthologies: The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales (2007), Firebirds Soaring (2009), The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People (2010), Teeth: Vampire Tales (2011), Magic City: Recent Spells (2014)

 

 

Anthologies

 

The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales (2007) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

I love short stories. Aside from collections by Charles de Lint, I best love anthologies by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling best. Their books are like comfort food, and I save them up for when I’m sick or feeling low.

In the same vein as The Green Man and The Faerie Reel, Datlow and Windling have this time collected stories about tricksters, and they’ve got some of my favorite authors in this collection: Charles de Lint, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Ellen Kushner. As usual, they manage to collect stories by some of my favorite story tellers.

One Odd Shoe - Pat Murphy
Coyote Woman - Carolyn Dunn
Wagers of Gold Mountain - Steve Berman
The Listeners - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Realer than You - Christopher Barzak
The Fiddler of Bayou Teche - Delia Sherman
A Tale for the SHort Days - Richard Bowes
Friday Night at St. Cecilia's - Ellen Klages
The Fortune Teller - Patricia A. McKillip
How Raven Made his Bride - Theodora Goss
Crow Roads - Charles de Lint
The Chamber of Music Animals - Katharine Vaz
Uncle Bob's Visits - Caroline Stevermer
Uncle Tompa - Midori Snyder
Cat of the World - Michael Cadnum
Honored Guest - Ellen Kushner
Always the Same Story - Elizabeth E. Wein
The Senorita and the Cactus Thorn - Kim Antieau
Black Rock Blues - Will Shetterly
The Constable of Abal - Holly Black
God Clown - Carol Emshwiller
The Other Labyrinnth - Jedediah Berry
The Dreaming Wind - Jeffery Ford
Kwaku Anansi Walks the World's Web - Jane Yolen
The Evolution of Trickster Stories Amount the Dogs of North Park after the Change - Kij Johnson

...

If like short story collections, or trickster tales, then you will want to read The Coyote Road. It has stories from many of my favorite writers, and as with all their collections, I was delighted to discover new authors for whom I’ll be on the lookout.
Rating: 9/10

Published by Viking

Firebirds Soaring (2009) edited by Sharyn November

Kingmaker - Nancy Springer
A Ticket to Ride - Nancy Farmer
A Thousand Tails - Christopher Barzak
All Under Heaven - Chris Roberson
Singing On a Star - Ellen Klages
Egg Magic - Louise Marley
Flatland - Kara Dalkey
Dolly the Dog-Soldier - Candas Jane Dorsey
Ferryman - Margo Lanagan
The Ghosts of Strangers - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Twilight Tales - Jo Walton
The Dignity He's Due - Carol Emshwiller
Power and Magic - Marly Youmans
Courtship - Sherwood Smith
Little Red - Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple
The Myth of Fenix - Laurel Winter
Fear and Loathing in Lalanna - Nick O'Donohoe
Bone-Chewer's Legacy - Clare Bell
Something Worth Doing - Elizabeth E. Wein

Published by Firebird

The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People (2010) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

“Island Lake” by E. Catherine Tobler
“The Puma’s Daughter” by Tanith Lee
“Map of Seventeen” by Christopher Barzak
“The Selkie Speaks” by Delia Sherman
“Bear’s Bride” by Johanna Sinisalo
“The Abominable Child’s Tale” by Carol Emshwiller
“The Hikikomori” by Hiromi Goto
“The Comeuppance of Creegus Maxin” by Gregory Frost
“Ganesha” by Jeffrey Ford
“The Elephant’s Bride” by Jane Yolen
“The Children of Cadmus” by Ellen Kushner
“The White Doe Mourns Her Childhood” by Jeanine Hall Gailey
“The White Doe’s Love Song” by Jeanine Hall Gailey
“The White Doe Decides” by Jeanine Hall Gailey
“Coyote and Valorosa” by Terra L. Gearheart
“One Thin Dime” by Stewart Moore
“The Monkey Bride” by Midori Snyder
“Pishaach” by Shweta Narayan
“The Salamander Fire” by Marly Youmans
“The Margay’s Children” by Richard Bowes
“Thumbleriggery and Fledglings” by Steve Berman
“The Flock” by Lucius Shepard
“The Children of the Shark God” by Peter Beagle
“Rosina” by Nan Fry

Viking Books for Young Readers

Teeth: Vampire Tales (2011) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

This is an Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling anthology, so as always, there are fascinating bits of folklore.

Rice, not garlic, was the most effective means of keeping Chinese vampires at bay, for they had a strange compulsion to count. Throwing rice at the ghost compelled it to stop; it would not move again until each grain was counted.

“Things to Know About Being Dead” by Genevieve Valentine
“All Smiles” by Steve Berman
“Gap Year” by Christopher Barzak
“Bloody Sunrise” by Neil Gaiman
“Flying” by Delia Sherman
“Vampire Weather” by Garth Nix
“Late Bloomer” by Suzy McKee Charnas
“The List of Definite Endings” by Kaaron Warren
“Best Friends Forever” by Cecil Castellucci
“Sit the Dead” by Jeffrey Ford
“Sunbleached” by Nathan Ballingrud
“Baby” by Kathe Koja
“In the Future When All's Well” by Catherynne M. Valente
“Transition” by Melissa Marr
“History” by Ellen Kushner
“The Perfect Dinner Party” by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
“Slice of Life” by Lucius Shepard
“My Generation” by Emma Bull
“Why Light?” by Tanith Lee

...

“Gap Year” by Christopher Barzak is Loretta’s story, and how sometimes childhood friends aren’t the friends you think they are.

...

As expected, this was a very good anthology, and although I didn’t like the horror or the poetry, that’s a failing of mine, not the anthology.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Harper Collins

Magic City: Recent Spells (2014) edited by Paula Guran

Magic-City-Recent-Spells

Table of Contents
“Street Wizard” by Simon R. Green
“Paranormal Romance” by Christopher Barzak
“Grand Central Park” by Delia Sherman
“Spellcaster 2.0” by Jonathan Maberry
“Wallamelon” by Nisi Shawl
“-30-” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs
“Stone Man” by Nancy Kress
“In the Stacks” by Scott Lynch
“A Voice Like a Hole” by Catherynne M. Valente
“The Arcane Art of Misdirection” by Carrie Vaughn
“Thief of Precious Things” by A.C. Wise
“The Land of Heart’s Desire” by Holly Black
“Snake Charmer” by Amanda Downum
“The Slaughtered Lamb” by Elizabeth Bear
“The Woman Who Walked with Dogs” by Mary Rosenblum
“Words” by Angela Slatter
“Dog Boys” by Charles de Lint
“Alchemy” by Lucy Sussex
“Curses” by Jim Butcher
“De la Tierra” by Emma Bull
“Stray Magic” by Diana Peterfreund
“Kabu Kabu” by Nnedi Okorafor
“Pearlywhite” by Mark Laidlaw & John Shirley

...

“Paranormal Romance” by Christopher Barzak is the story of a witch of makes love spells, but whose magic doesn’t work for her. So her mother sets her up on a blind date.

When Myspace and Facebook came around, and her mother began commenting on photos Sheila had posted from some of her date nights with statements like, “He’s a hottie!” and “Now that’s a keeper!” Sheila had had to block her mother.

I really liked this story.

...

All in all this is a marvelous collection, that I highly recommend.
Rating: 8.5/10

Published by Prime Books