books

JeffREy Ford

Books

Anthologies: The Green Man : Tales from the Mythic Forest (2002), Year's Best Fantasy 3 (2003), Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Edition (2003) The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm (2004), The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales (2007), The Secret History of Fantasy (2010), The Way of the Wizard (2010), Running with the Pack (2010), The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People (2010), Naked City (2011), Teeth: Vampire Tales (2011), The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius (2013), Street Magicks (2016)

 

 

Anthologies

 

The Green Man : Tales from the Mythic Forest (2002) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

The Green Word - Jeffrey Ford

Published by Viking

Year's Best Fantasy 3 (2003)

“The Green Word” by Jeffery Ford

Published by Harper Voyager

Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Edition (2003) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Jeffrey Ford - Creation

Published by St. Martin's Griffin

The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm (2004) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Any time I see a fantasy anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, I’ll often as not pick it up, because I know that it’s going to be good. Usually very good. This volume however, has the added bonus of poems by both Charles de Lint and Neil Gaiman.

Needless to say I snatched it up--even thought it was in hardback--when I came across it.

These faery tales are based not upon the fairies of Disney but upon the faery of folktales. As they say in the introduction:

In this book about our good neighbors, we've asked a number of our favorite writers to travel into the Twilight Realm (an ancient name for the land of Faerie) and to bring back stories of faeries and the hapless mortals who cross their path. "No butterfly-winged sprites," we pleaded. "Read the old folktales, journey farther afield, find some of the less explored paths through the Realm.

It would be hard for me not to love this book.

The Annals of Eelin-OK - Jeffrey Ford

All in all an excellent anthology. But I hardly expected anything less.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Viking

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.

The Dreaming Wind - Jeffery Ford

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

The Secret History of Fantasy (2010) edited by Peter S. Beagle

This is an interesting collection of short stories, by some very good authors. I can’t say all the stories were to my taste, but they were all very good.

“The Empire of Ice Cream” by Jeffery Ford is an unbearably sad story about synesthesia. Really, that’s the best way to describe it. It’s even sadder than “The Edge of the World” by Michael Swanwick. The world is mostly as we know it, except that it’s flat–you can fall right off the edge and down into nothingness forever. And that edge is what Donna and Piggy and Russ decide to explore one hot summer day.

All in all, an excellent collection of stories, albeit one I don’t recommend reading when you’re depressed.
Rating: 8/10

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

“Ganesha” by Jeffrey Ford

Viking Books for Young Readers

Running with the Pack (2010) edited by

When I saw there was a new werewolf anthology edited by Ekatrerina Sedia with a story by Carrie Vaughn I automatically ordered it. Then of course, once it arrived, it sat around like anthologies tend to do, waiting for the “right” time to read it. But eventually read it I did, and it was excellent, with a few caveats, the biggest being, the anthology should not have ended on the story it did. On the plus side (and this is huge plus in my opinion) these are stories that deal with werewolves without all the hawt supernatural sex. A couple stories acknowledge sex, but the focus of these stories is upon the other aspects of being a werewolf, which I very much enjoyed, because there is a lot to explore in this mythos and this anthology does a very good job of moving beyond the paranormal romance aspect of werewolves.

Jeffrey Ford’s story, The Beautiful Gelreesh and Samantha Henderson’s Skin in the Game also looked at werewolf stories in a different way, though each took the werewolf mythos in a different direction. Of the two, I like Skin in the Game a tad better, though I really liked the direction The Beautiful Gelreeshwent.

All in all, this is an excellent anthology, and one I can highly recommend.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Prime

The Way of the Wizard (2010) edited by John Joseph Adams

way_of_the_wizardI love anthologies. They give me an escape in bite size pieces that won’t keep me up past my bed time on a work night, and they also often a wonderful introduction to authors I have not read previously.

This anthology focuses upon wizards of all sorts, doing wizardly things, though not very many evil wizards.

Jeffrey Ford’s story, “The Sorcerer Minus” was one I didn’t care for. The Sorcerer minus is a jerk. I didn’t really like spending time reading about him.

There were multiple stories I didn’t care for, but on the whole, I found it a good and enjoyable collection. After all, I don’t have to read the stories I don’t like.
Rating: 7/10

Published by Prime Books  

Naked City (2011) edited by Ellen Datlow

This collection of urban fantasy stories has several of my favorite authors, so it was a no-brainer to get. The bad thing is that I’ve been reading this collection for several months, so I now have no idea what the stories at the start of the anthology were about, which is dangerous, because it means I may end up accidentally rereading several of them.

Dady Longlegs of the Evening - Jeffrey Ford

Although there were several stories I didn’t care for, I believe that was more a matter of personal taste than quality. And the stories I did like, I liked very much.
Rating: 8/10

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin

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.

“Sit the Dead” by Jeffrey Ford was an… odd story. Luke wants to be with Darlene, but there are certain things her family does that he has to do when someone dies, and Darlene asks Luke to sit with the dead with her Uncle Sfortunado.

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

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius (2013) edited by John Joseph Adams

mad-scientists-guide-to-world-dominationThis is the third anthology I’ve read by John Joseph Adams, and I must say that he has a good rack record for creating anthologies with stories I really like. He also has a good mix of stories, some of which I am guaranteed not to like, but that’s okay, because it’s good to read stuff I don’t normally read, and if I really don’t like a story, I can always skip on to the next (even though I rarely do that).

The stories I liked best in this anthology were the straight-up cackling Evil Overlord sort (you know that list, right?), because they were funny. The ones I liked least tended to be the more serious ones, because, well, evil in its true form exists in the world, and it’s generally funny at all.

“The Pittsburgh Technology” by Jeffrey Ford is a sad sort of story.

“Why is it The Pittsburgh Technology?”

“Have you ever been to Pittsburgh?”

I think that sums of the story pretty well.

Aside from the anthology ending on several depressing notes, this was all-in-all a varied and very good collection of stories, with something for everyone. After all, the stories I disliked were not bad, they were just not my type of story.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Tor Books

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy (2013) edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

queen-victorias-book-of-spellsThe Fairy Enterprise by Jeffrey Ford

I love anthologies and I love historical fiction. So this should have been an automatic win for me.

Instead it was a two-plus year slog that I finally forced myself to finish.

The Fairy Enterprise by Jeffrey Ford. A man wants to make fairies. From corpses.

Published by Tor

Street Magicks (2016) edited by Paula Guran

Street MagicksI believe it took me less than a year to finish this anthology. Hopefully this is a new trend for me.

“The Last Triangle” by Jeffrey Ford

“The Last Triangle” by Jeffrey Ford is a story I started and then got distracted. It’s actually an interesting story about magic and science–or rather geometry.

“The Last Triangle is an equilateral triangle; all the sides are equal,” she said.

I failed math every year in high school, so I just nodded.

An interesting collection, although there were a lot of stories that were not for me.
Rating: 7/10

Published by Prime Books