L.A. Banks

Books: Fantasy


My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (2006), By Blood We Live (2009), Strange Brew (2009), Death's Excellent Vacation (2010), The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination (2013)

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (2006) edited by P.N. Elrod

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding is an anthology of short stories featuring supernatural creatures and weddings. All the stories are good, but some are better than others. In some of the stories the wedding is the main feature, while in other stories the wedding felt a bit tacked on to make the story fit into the anthology.

L.A. Banks' story "Spellbound" drew me in immediately. The idea of the Hatfield-McCoy being exacerbated by magic users in each family amused me, and I very much liked the writing. Michael picked up an L.A. Banks series a year or so ago. Perhaps I should pick up the first book in that series.

All the stories have a romantic plot; some have boinking, but not all. (I, of course, prefer the stories without the boinking.) There were some stories that I preferred over others, but all the stories in the collection were strong and well worth reading, while several of the stories were well-written enough to make me glad I bought the collection.

Rating: 7/10

By Blood We Live (2009) edited by John Joseph Adams

Death's Excellent Vacation (2010) edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner

deaths-excellent-vacationYeah, I'm a sucker for anthologies. Especially ones where I know the majority of the stories will be good.

Mind you, I wasn't impressed enough with the list of authors to pay full price (this still isn't out in paperback yet?!) but there were plenty of used copies floating around, which is how I got my fix.

I've books by L. A. Banks sitting waiting to be read, but for some reason never got around to raeding them. Seeing Is Believing makes me wonder why the hell I haven't read them. Jessica is trying to hold things together after the death of her mother, and her brother moving away, but between the lack of jobs in town, and her inheritance of her mother's gifts, things are very hard for her. The fact that something is preying on the people in her town only makes things worse.

I really really liked this story and should probably go find those L.A. Banks books I never got around to reading.

So, a pretty good collection. As always there were stories I didn't like, but most of them were simple a conflict of taste rather than bad stories. But really, it's been two and a half years. How is this not out in paperback already?

Published by Ace

Rating: 7/10

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.

"Ancient Equations" by L. A. Banks is the story of a genius who has set himself aside from the world, in hopes of saving the world. It also has the PERFECT line. (rot 13) ‘"Lbh zbgureshpxref ner nyy gur fnzr. Lbh jnag fbzr nff naq gura lbh jnaan tb gnxr bhg gur thlf jub hfrq gb trg nyy gur onorf."‘

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

Rating: 8/10