Anthologies: Running with the Pack (2010), The Way of the Wizard (2010), Happily Ever After (2011), Teeth: Vampire Tales (2011), The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius (2013), Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy (2013)
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.
The Dire Wolf by Genevieve Valentine is another story that deals with love, but in an unexpected way. I liked this story very much.
All in all, this is an excellent anthology, and one I can highly recommend.
Published by Prime
I 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.
Genevieve Valentine’s story, “So Deep That the Bottom Could Not Be Seen” just didn’t work for me. I liked the idea of natural magicians being affected by climate change, but the whole environmentalism thing felt heavy-handed.
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.
Published by Prime Books
The only thing I didn’t like, is I wish the anthology hadn’t ended on such a dark and depressing story.
Mind you, the dark and depressing stories were good–very good–but these tales ran very true to the original stories, with a not insignificant amount of rape and incest and general horribleness. Just like the original tales.
But there’s also a good amount of humor as well, and I just wished the collection had ended with one of the funnier stories.
“And in their Glad Rags” by Genevieve Valentine was kinda sorta a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Well, the red cloak was there, as was the grandmother. But everything else was pretty much different.
Please note, as previously mentioned, the stories have rape and incest and lots and lots of sex in addition to evil stepmothers and other such killers.
There were also a fair number of very dark and very depressing tales that were very good, but that I didn’t enjoy at all.
Published by Night Shade Books
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 is the story of a young, just turned, Jiang-shi (vampire) and her grandmother, who is the only one who knows what’s happening. This story was sweet and sad and wonderful, and one of my favorites.
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.
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
This 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.
“Captain Justice Saves the Day” by Genevieve Valentine was another of my favorites. Again, we see the Evil Genius from the point of view of one of his minions.
It seems something is wrong with your address book because you erased it trying to password— protect it. I am on my way in to repopulate your address book from my computer. Please do not try to fix it until I get there.
For obvious reasons, this cracked me up. That scenario went exactly as expected.
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.
Published by Tor Books
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy (2013) edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells by Delia Sherman
The Fairy Enterprise by Jeffrey Ford
From the Catalogue of the Pavilion of the Uncanny and Marvellous, Scheduled for Premiere at the Great Exhibition (Before the Fire) by Genevieve Valentine
The Memory Book by Maureen McHugh
La Reine d’Enfer by Kathe Koja
For the Briar Rose by Elizabeth Wein
The Governess by Elizabeth Bear
Smithfield by James P. Blaylock
The Unwanted Women of Surrey by Kaaron Warren
Charged by Leanna Renee Hieber
Mr. Splitfoot by Dale Bailey
Phosphorus by Veronica Schanoes
We Without Us Were Shadows by Catherynne M. Valente
The Vital Importance of the Superficial by Ellen Kushner and Caroline Stevermer
The Jewel in the Toad Queen’s Crown by Jane Yolen
A Few Twigs He Left Behind by Gregory Maguire
Their Monstrous Minds by Tanith Lee
Estella Saves the Village by Theodora Goss
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.
From the Catalogue of the Pavilion of the Uncanny and Marvellous, Scheduled for Premiere at the Great Exhibition (Before the Fire) by Genevieve Valentine. The catalog of the Great Exhibit of London.
Though robbed of much of her power outside the lands of her people, Salome is still presented veiled and shackled, and behind a guarded partition past which ladies and children shall expressly not be admitted, to preserve their moral character.
Interspersed with letters from Walter to his brother and from a Miss Hammond, which perhaps shows why there was a fire.
Published by Tor