books

Jody Lynn Nye

Books

Anthologies: Twice Upon A Time (1999), The Repentant (2003), Rotten Relations (2004), Dracula in London (2004), Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City (2004), Maiden, Matron, Crone (2005), Children of Magic (2006)

 

 

Anthologies

 

Twice Upon A Time (1999) edited by Denise Little

Fairy tales seen from another perspective--the wife of the giant from the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The hunter in the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. The Wolf who appears in multiple tales.

This book is hit and miss. Some of the stories are excellent, others are so-so. The idea of retold fairy tales is an excellent one, unfortunately not all the stories in this collection were able to pull it off as well as it should be done.

(What I found interesting is that although no single story was a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, they still managed to show up in several different tales.)

Spinning a Yarn - Jody Lynn Nye
How I Came To Marry a Herpetologist - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Puck in Boots, the True Story - Connie Hirsch
Case #285B - Ester M. Friesner
Beanstalk Incident - Jane Lindskold
Gilly the Goose Girl - Nancy Springer
Fifi's Tale - Alan Rodgers
Thy Golden Stair - Richard Parks
True Love (Or the Many Brides of Prince Charming) - Todd Fahnestock And Giles Custer
Savior - John Helfers
Wolf at the Door - Lupita Shepard
Castle and Jack - Tim Waggoner
Baron Boscov's Bastard - Jacey Bedford
Emperor's New (And Improved) Clothes - Leslie What
One Fairy Tale, Hard-Boiled - P. Andrew Miller
Feeding Frenzy or the Further Adventures of The Frog Prince - Josepha Sherman
A Leg Up or the Constant Tin Soldier (Gonzo Version) - Gary A. Braunbeck
Mrs. Myrtle Montegrande vs. the Vegetable Stalker/Slayer - Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Of the rest of the tales, some were good, some less so. I'd pick it up if I saw it used, but I don't think it's worth the $6.99 cover price.
Rating: 5/10

Rotten Relations (2004) edited by Denise Little

Rotten RelationsI was really disappointed in this collection. I had, as the song goes, high hopes, but was, in the end, let down.

I picked up the book because the idea of it sounded great: villains from fairy tales and literature telling their side of the story (much like Gregory Maguire's Wicked I believe.)

As with Twice Upon a Time, we got stories based on the same tales, several times, when there are so many other stories out there besides Cinderella, and I can only take so much of Cinderella.

Home for the Holidays - Pauline J. Alma         
With A Face Only a Mother Could Love - Jenn Reese
Switched - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
The Trick of the Tricksters Tricked - Josepha Sherman
Thrice Told - Von Jocks
Dynasty - Bill Mccay
Serpent's Tooth - Susan P. and Bradley H. Sinor
Mirror, Mirror - Jacey Bedford
After The Ball - Pamela Luzier
Peggy Plain - Devon Monk
Healthcliff's Notes - David Bischoff
Cuckoo's Egg - Jody Lynn Nye
Rapunzel, the True Story - Robert Sheckley
Among The Stars - Susan Sizemore
King of Shreds and Patches - P.N. Elrod

There are some good stories in this collection, such as Josepha Sherman's The Trick of the Trickster's Tricked, where we get to see the wife of Iktome, Spider, and what she's learned, living with a trickster for so long. Josepha Sherman got the Trickster tale tone perfectly. I also liked Von Jocks Thrice Told, which reminded me of a story I heard on Selected Shorts. However many of the stories came across as half-hearted attempts of the evil-doer to justify their actions.

No offense, but there's enough of that in the news and media, I don't need it in my fantasy.
Rating: 3/10

The Repentant (2003) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Brian Thomsen

I love short stories, so I tend to pick up anthologies when I come across them–assuming they look even remotely interesting. The Repentant looked particularly interesting, since it had several authors I particularly like: Tanya Huff, P.N. Elrod, and especially Nina Kiriki Hoffman. And the theme was also one that interested me: supernatural creatures.

The Salem Trial by Jody Lynn Nye
Lycanthrope Summer by Jeff Grubb
The Den Mother by Edo Van Belkom
Brothers in the Flesh by Fiona Patton
Heat by Jean Rabe
She Dwelleth in the Cold of the Moon by James Lowder
Scleratus by Tanya Huff
Slaughter by P.N. Elrod
A Hollywood Tradition by Brian M. Thomsen
The Devil You Know  by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Intercession  by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
The Recall of Cthulhu by Tom Dupree
Redeemed by Allen C. Kupfer

...

Although there were a couple of stories I didn't like, overall, it was a strong anthology with a variety of interesting and well written stories. Although I have to admit that when I see them name Martin H. Greenburg on an anthology, I'm pretty certain of liking the majority of stories.
Rating: 8/10

Published by DAW

Dracula in London (2004) edited by P.N Elrod

I give up. After six months I’m about three-quarters of the way through, and haven’t enjoyed one single story I’ve read.

I generally like P.N. Elrod’s stories, and I’ve read several other anthologies she has edited, all of which I’ve enjoyed, but these stories? No. Yuck.

To Each His Own Kind - Tanya Huff
Box Number Fifty – Fred Saberhagen
Wolf And Hound – Nigel Bennett & P.N. Elrod
The Dark Downstairs – Roxanne Longstreet Conrad
Dear Mr Bernard Shaw – Judith Proctor
The Three Boxes – Elaine Bergstrom
Good Help – K.B. Bogen
Places For Act Two – Bradley H. Sinor
Beast – Amy L. Gruss & Catt Kingsgrave Ernstein
A Most Electrifying Evening – Julie Barrett
An Essay On Containment – Gene Deweese
Berserker – Nancy Kilpatrick
Curtain Call – Gary A.  Braunbeck
Renfield Or Dining At The Bughouse – Bill Zaget
Everything To Order – Jody Lynn Nye
Longterm Investment – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

One possibility is that these are all based on Dracula (as is obvious from the title) and so they may lean more towards horror that I generally dislike. But these stories weren’t really that horrific–they didn’t leave me with that vague sense of nausea that horror often gives me. Instead, I just didn’t find them interesting.

So as my gift to myself at the end of the year, I’m going to stop trying to read this anthology and move on to something else.

Published by Ace

Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City (2004) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & John Helfers

Mallificent - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
The Last Day Of The Rest - Russell Davis
Jack And The B.S. - Tanya Huff
Panhandler - Alan Dean Foster
Trading Fours With The Moldy Figs - Jean Rabe
Signs Are Hazy, Ask Again Later - Fiona Patton
Puss In D.C. - Pamela Sargent
A Faust Films Production - Janeen Webb
Brownie Points - Elizabeth Gilligan
After The Flowering - Janet Berliner
Little Red In The 'Hood - Irene Radford
Exterminary - Patricia Lee Macomber
The Nightingale - Dena Bain Taylor
Meet Mr. Hamlin - Bill Willingham
If You Only Knew My Name - David Niall Wilson
Keeping It Real - Jody Lynn Nye
The Rose Garden - Michelle West

Published by DAW

Maiden, Matron, Crone (2005) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes

I try to pick up fantasy anthologies when I see them, since chances are they won’t be there the next time I look. I picked up Maiden, Matron, Crone while ago, but saved it to read during the school year, because short story collections are much easier to put down than books.

Some of the stories in this collection were good, some were so-so, and a couple were quite excellent. And there weren't any stories that I absolutely hated, which is always a good thing. The best part of this collection, however, is that if focused on female characters, and for the most part strong female characters.

A Lingering Scent of Bacon - Brenda Cooper
A Choice of Ending - Tanya Huff
Strikes of the Heart - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Misery and Woe - Jean Rabe
In Sight - Charles de Lint
The Gift - Jody Lynn Nye
Bearing Life - Devon Monk
Advice from a Young Witch to an Old Priestess - Rosemary Edghill
The Three Gems of the Fianna - Fiona Patton
The Things She Handed Down - Russell Davis
Seeking Gold - Jane Lindskold
Opening Her Door - Alexander B. Potter
The Unicorn Hunt - Michelle West
Rating: 6/10

Published by DAW

Children of Magic (2006) edited by Martin H. Greenberg

As I have mentioned on many previous occasions, I am a huge fan of short stories. Occasionally I have been disappointed, but for the most part the anthologies I have read have good, especially the one edited by Martin H. Greenberg.

Children of Magic (2006) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes

As I have mentioned on many previous occasions, I am a huge fan of short stories. Occasionally I have been disappointed, but for the most part the anthologies I have read have good, especially the one edited by Martin H. Greenberg.

The theme of Children of Magic is (as you would guess from the title) children with magic and the ability to change the world around them. The major problem with this review, however, is that I only read a one or two stories at a time, and then left the book on the headboard for a few weeks while I was reading something else (anthologies are good for that). So it actually took me several months to read Children of Magic as it dropped to the bottom of the pile in favor of whatever I was currently reading during the day (or sometimes something more boring, to put me to sleep.)

Mr. Death Goes to Washington - Alan Dead Foster
Nethan's Magic - Jody Lynn Nye
Touching Faith - Alexander B Potter
The Horses of the High Hills - Brenda Cooper
An End to all Things - Karina Sumner-Smith
After School Specials - Tanya Huff
Titan - Sarah A. Hoyt
Shades of Truth - Jana Paniccia
The Winter of Our Discontent - Nancy Holder
The Rustle of Wings - Ruth Stuart
Basic Magic - Jean Rabe
Fever Waking - Jane Lindskold
Starchild Wondersmith - Louise Marley
Far from the Tree - Melissa Lee Shaw
The Weight of Wishes - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
The Trade - Fiona Patton
Shahira - Michelle West

...

So if you like anthologies, you may want to pick up this collection. Or you could wait and see if any of these stories ends up in a “Year’s Best” collection.
Rating: 6/10

Published by DAW