books

Darrell Schweitzer

Books

Anthologies: The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Eighth Annual Collection (1995), Year's Best Fantasy 3 (2003), The Secret History Of Vampires (2007)

 

 

Anthologies

 

The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Eighth Annual Collection (1995) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

He Unwraps Himself by Darrell Schweitzer

Published by St Martins Press

Year's Best Fantasy 3 (2003)

“How It Ended” by Darrell Schweitzer

Published by Harper Voyager

The Secret History Of Vampires (2007)

"Honored Be Her Name" by John Gregory Betancourt and Darrell Schweitzer

Published by DAW

Full Moon City (2010) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Darrell Schweitzer

I love anthologies. Though I have to admit that with the way paranormal romance has taken off, the ratio of wheat to chaff has been unfavorable for me. However, Carrie Vaughn and Peter S. Beagle were pretty compelling reasons to get this anthology.

The Truth about Werewolves - Lisa Tuttle
Innocent - Gene Wolfe
Kitty Learns the Ropes - Carrie Vaughn
No Children, No Pets - Esther M. Friesner
Sea Warg - Tanith Lee
Country Mothers' Sons - Holly Phillips
A Most Unusual Greyhound - Mike Resnick
The Bitch - P.D. Cacek
The Aarne-Thompson Classification Revue - Holly Black
Weredog of Bucharest - Ian Watson
I Was a Middle-Age Werewolf - Ron Goulart
Kvetchula's Daughter - Darrell Schweitzer
And Bob's Your Uncle - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
The Bank Job - Gregory Frost
La Lune T'Attend - Peter S. Beagle

I didn’t much care for the first two stories in the anthology. Gene Wolfe’s “Innocent” was very good, but I didn’t enjoy it. The third story, however, was by Carrie Vaughn and an entry into her Kitty the Werewolf series. Not quite as strong as some of the Kitty stories, but fun, and an interesting thought about what werewolves might or might not be good at. (This is actually an interesting idea that goes along with her story Kitty Goes to War.)

Esther M. Friesner’s story, “No Children, No Pets” was strange and odd, but I still enjoyed it. After all, there aren’t that many werewolf stories with six year old narrators.

Country Mother’s Sons by Holly Phillips was another story that stayed with me, although I still cannot decided if I liked the story or not. War widows and their sons are a very depressing theme, however, the story was well done, and pulled me in.

“A Most Unusual Greyhound” is the second Harry the Book story by Mike Resnick I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although the main character is (of course) a bookie, it has the tone of a hard boiled mystery, and also refuses to take itself seriously. Once or twice it almost stays into camp territory, but veers back into fun and entertaining. After all, the idea of a werewolf entering the races at the dog tracks is an amusing one.

Holly Black‘s story, “The Aarne-Thompson Classification Revue” was another odd story. A werewolf girl trying to make it in the big city. I liked it, even though I was never quite sure where it was going.

“I Was a Middle-Age Werewolf” by Ron Goulart was another fun story that was quite enjoyable–a middle-aged man in Beverly Hills is suddenly changed into a werewolf. The main character was not particularly likable, but it was, as I said, fun, as was Darrell Schweitzer’s “Kvetchula’s Daughter” which might have had a slightly more surprising ending had it not been in an anthology about werewolves. But the idea of Jewish vampires totally makes up for the end not being surprising.

I’ve read several short stories by Chelsa Quinn Yarbro, but not read any of her books, primarily because they’re typically classified as horror. But the story “And Bob’s Your Uncle” may have been dark, but I didn’t find it scary or horrifying (except perhaps in the way Jake was treated by his mother), and I did find it good, as was Gregory Frost’s “The Bank Job” (even if you’re never quite sure what kind of creature he is.)

And the anthology ended on a very strong note, with Peter S. Beagle‘s story “La Lune T’Attend.” It took a bit to fall into the speech patterns of the main characters, but in just a few pages, I fell in love with Arceneaux, the grandfather who also happened to be a loup-garou. Seriously. The story is about two grandfathers who have been best friends all the lives, and who also happen to be werewolves. It was the perfect ending to the anthology.

Although there were several stories I didn’t particularly like, but all in all, the stories that were good were very good, and well worth the price of the anthology.
Rating: 8/10