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A compendium of comic fantasy writing. Most of the stories are modern, with many especially written for this collection. The book also includes classic reprints and rare gems from comic fantasy's roots in past years.


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A compendium of comic fantasy writing. Most of the stories are modern, with many especially written for this collection. The book also includes classic reprints and rare gems from comic fantasy's roots in past years.

30 review for The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Let me start by saying that this is a huge book. There are only 512 pages, but it seems to go on forever. I think that this book would be enjoyed most if it was placed on a coffee table in your living room and picked up every now and again when you are in the mood for a short read. But to sit down and read it straight through was quite a chore. I originally picked this book up solely for the Terry Pratchett Discworld story 'Troll Bridge'. But there are quite a few great stories in here. My favor Let me start by saying that this is a huge book. There are only 512 pages, but it seems to go on forever. I think that this book would be enjoyed most if it was placed on a coffee table in your living room and picked up every now and again when you are in the mood for a short read. But to sit down and read it straight through was quite a chore. I originally picked this book up solely for the Terry Pratchett Discworld story 'Troll Bridge'. But there are quite a few great stories in here. My favorite was probably 'A Fortnight of Miracles' by Randall Garrett -- but there were quite a few others worth mentioning -- Pizza To Go by Tom Holt Death Swatch by Esther Friesner Alaska by John Morressy The Return of Mad Santa by Al Sarrantonio Ruella in Love by Molly Brown I know that there were others that I enjoyed as well, but these stick out. Overall a fun read, but one that probably needs to be savored in small bites.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stoneme Mayo

    Get past the first story (I found the language hard going) by Avram Davidson to get into a good Tom Holt short. A demon of a third story with a charming ending by Craig Shaw Gardner then follows. Next a dark humour-less story about the pitfalls of selling home computers to fairies by Gardner Dozois,Jack Dann and Michael Swanwick. At last a laugh-out-loud story of pre-nuptuals between "The Grim Lord" and "Princess Minuriel" - "Death Swatch" by Esther Friesner is a breath of "fresh" air. Overall a g Get past the first story (I found the language hard going) by Avram Davidson to get into a good Tom Holt short. A demon of a third story with a charming ending by Craig Shaw Gardner then follows. Next a dark humour-less story about the pitfalls of selling home computers to fairies by Gardner Dozois,Jack Dann and Michael Swanwick. At last a laugh-out-loud story of pre-nuptuals between "The Grim Lord" and "Princess Minuriel" - "Death Swatch" by Esther Friesner is a breath of "fresh" air. Overall a good book to put down and pick up whenever the mood takes you especially if like me you can take months to finish a single novel.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Juho Salo

    This was one of the first books I bought in English, way back when I was young and stupid and thought that David Eddings could not write a bad book and R.A. Salvatore was the peak of fantasy. Back then I liked it. But perhaps the biggest contribution to my life was that due to this book I found the sequel which introduced me to the Evil Overlord -list -- something I try to uphold in my daily life to this day.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    I actually bought this a couple of summers ago when my friends and I discovered a used book shop. But this book has every type of comic fantasy that you could want like how many years does it take monkeys to type Shakespeare to an evil overlord getting his castle redecorated for his upcoming wedding.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steph De Mel

    I picked this up because, having discovered and loved the work of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Jasper Fforde, I was keen to explore the genre of comic fantasy a bit further. Sadly, however, this anthology of short stories by various authors is not to my taste. There are a few enjoyable stories in this collection: I particularly like Esther Friesner's "Night Swatch", John Morressy's "Alaska", Anthony Armstrong's "The Warlock's Daughter, Jane Yolen's "The Tale of the Seventeenth Eunuch", and I picked this up because, having discovered and loved the work of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Jasper Fforde, I was keen to explore the genre of comic fantasy a bit further. Sadly, however, this anthology of short stories by various authors is not to my taste. There are a few enjoyable stories in this collection: I particularly like Esther Friesner's "Night Swatch", John Morressy's "Alaska", Anthony Armstrong's "The Warlock's Daughter, Jane Yolen's "The Tale of the Seventeenth Eunuch", and Al Sarrantonio's "The Return of Mad Santa".  Nonetheless, for the most part, this collection left me cold. Several of the stories not only failed to elicit a laugh (or even a smile), but also are rather dull. I'm drawn to fantasy that is inventive, whimsical, or clever; these stories simply fall short for me in these dimensions. I confess I'm not a huge fan of short stories as a general rule, and this fact is likely also to have coloured my experience; others may find more to enjoy here than I did. Perhaps now is the time finally to pick up that copy of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" that's been sitting unread on my bookshelf for the last year...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    This book doesn’t really elicit huge guffaws. But it is filled with stories about creatures, humans, dragons, etc. who find that magic and wizardry can have hilarious pitfalls. Some of the stories aren’t what I’d call funny at all. (“Alaska”, “A Fortnight of Miracles” and “Wu-Ling’s Folly” are notable examples.) What the yarns mainly accomplish is to turn the idea of magical dealings on their heads: evil sorcerers get their comeuppance in unusual ways; enchantments take bizarre turns; powerful w This book doesn’t really elicit huge guffaws. But it is filled with stories about creatures, humans, dragons, etc. who find that magic and wizardry can have hilarious pitfalls. Some of the stories aren’t what I’d call funny at all. (“Alaska”, “A Fortnight of Miracles” and “Wu-Ling’s Folly” are notable examples.) What the yarns mainly accomplish is to turn the idea of magical dealings on their heads: evil sorcerers get their comeuppance in unusual ways; enchantments take bizarre turns; powerful wizards turn out to be bungling amateurs and so forth. There are the usual names here and some choices that may not be known to modern readers. So for the mild chuckle or outright snort of laughter, take your pick from among this collection.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dainey

    All shades of fantasy and all types of humour come together in this anthology, looking to provide a little something for everyone. Although not in "bust a gut laughing"-range of funny, I was mostly left pleasantly enough entertained, with a few outright gems. Unfortunately a few lazy attempts have snuck in, without any intention of the author committing to the story, and a lot of the portrayals of female characters are just as problematic as one would expect from this mix of genres.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ania

    This is a book that is suppose to be full of funny stories and well... It is a quick and light read in the end. Most of the time short stories are so cliche and you cant even bring yourself to engage in the story because either there is not enough of characters exposition or it's a cliche theme and end of the story. That is why, apart from some stories like the one about the dragons keeper: I will probably forget all of them in a year.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sho

    I probably should have dipped in and out of this rather than try to read one story a night. They were amusing, mostly, and just right for my bed time reading but I would probably have enjoyed them more if I had interspersed out my reading of the stories with other books. None particularly stick out as memorable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Harold Citron

    Lots of fun short fantasy stories by a good selection of authors. While not every one was great, enough of the 36 were solid in both character and plot. Since they are stand alone stories, you can start and stop at will for a short burst of reading, and the ones that were great, were worth reading again.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    Some of the absolutely best fantasy/science fiction writers have short stories in this volume. I like when they update a myth or folk tale in another manner than the traditional story line.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ch J Loveall

    my quest for authors continues - I have read authors

  13. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Since this is a short story collection, I'm rating all of the stories with the Goodreads star value. I know, it's a crazy task, but I'm up to it. Introduction - 2 stars Peregrine: Alflandia - 1 star (confusing and not at all funny) Pizza To Go - 2 stars (starts strong, ends weak) A Malady Of Magicks - 3 stars Golden Apples Of The Sun - 4 stars Death Swatch - 5 stars Press Ann - 5 stars (the unusual form adds to the story) Troll Bridge - 4 stars (classic Discworld) The Toll Bridge - 2 stars Alaska - 3 star Since this is a short story collection, I'm rating all of the stories with the Goodreads star value. I know, it's a crazy task, but I'm up to it. Introduction - 2 stars Peregrine: Alflandia - 1 star (confusing and not at all funny) Pizza To Go - 2 stars (starts strong, ends weak) A Malady Of Magicks - 3 stars Golden Apples Of The Sun - 4 stars Death Swatch - 5 stars Press Ann - 5 stars (the unusual form adds to the story) Troll Bridge - 4 stars (classic Discworld) The Toll Bridge - 2 stars Alaska - 3 stars (actually has nothing to do with the US state) The Cat With Two Tails - 2 stars The Warlock's Daughter - 4 stars The Glass Slip-Up - 5 stars (really funny) The Distressing Damsel - 4 stars Tender Is The Night-Gaunt - 1 star (tries to hard to be a pastiche) Shoggoth's Old Peculiar - 5 stars (by Neil Gaiman, naturally) Looking-Glass Land - 3 stars The Story Of The Four Little Children - 2 stars The Disadvantages Of Mind - 3 stars The Return Of Max Kearny - 4 stars (like a funny Dresden Files) The Unpleasantness At The Baloney Club - 4 stars A Fortnight Of Miracles - 5 stars (very entertaining, if not laugh out loud funny) Aphrodite's New Temple - 2 stars The Fifty-First Dragon - 2 stars The Boscombe Walters Story - 3 stars Fall'n Into The Sear - 3 stars The Cunning Plan - 1 star (some stories just try too hard) War Of The Doom Zombies - 2 stars (the title's the best part) The Tale Of The Seventeenth Eunuch - 4 stars An Eye For An Eye, A Tooth For A Tooth - 5 stars (short and sweet) Queen Of The Green Sun - 3 stars Wu-Ling's Folly - 4 stars Mebodes' Fly - 3 stars The Return Of Mad Santa - 5 stars (surprisingly fun) Ruella In Love - 3 stars Been A Long, Long Time - 4 stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    Edward Snell

    Some of these stories were amazing and the others were "only" great. Covering a vast amount of time as far as when written as well as styles this was an amazing find I picked up at a thrift store for next to nothing. As an added bonus it included a Terry Pratchett short I had never read this book is worth it's weight in gold in my opinion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Love of Hopeless Causes

    Great example of why short stories have fallen out of favor. First somebody hypes the story too big, Mike in this case, then they don't deliver on the punch line. No one ever reads an entire anthology and thinks, "God Bless 'em every one!" In America most of these stories don't qualify as Fantasy. We call these, "The Tears of a Clown." The other reviewers are confused, easy to do since these Mammoth books breed when no one is looking: no Neil Gaiman or Cthulhu Stories in the American Library edi Great example of why short stories have fallen out of favor. First somebody hypes the story too big, Mike in this case, then they don't deliver on the punch line. No one ever reads an entire anthology and thinks, "God Bless 'em every one!" In America most of these stories don't qualify as Fantasy. We call these, "The Tears of a Clown." The other reviewers are confused, easy to do since these Mammoth books breed when no one is looking: no Neil Gaiman or Cthulhu Stories in the American Library edition.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Tobolski

    Been a long long time since I read this, and since I recently acquired two of the other five volumes (and just discovered I still need two more) I figured I'd start plowing through these again. I've gotten to the point of requiring all my fantasy reading to contain at least a modicum of humor; let's face it, Tom Holt and Terry Pratchett have spoiled me. Besides which, I simply cannot recommend the Mammoth Book series enough.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jewels

    Obviously, I do not share a sense of humor with Mike Ashley. I don't think I cracked a smile the whole time I was reading this, and it was a bit of a chore to get through. I did like the stories by some of my favorite writers, such as Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, but even their stories were more wistful or dark than what I would expect in a 'comic' fantasy. I do get dark humor, don't get me wrong, but I just wasn't feeling it in this volume.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Most of the stories in this were not even funny. Actually, in most cases I had to try and remind myself that they were even supposed to be funny. Maybe it is just me not being British enough and not understanding the humour in some of these, but I am very glad I only paid 2 euros for this book at a flea market. It felt like the better stories were in the beginning and in the end, so no wonder the middle part took me like 2 months to get through.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This is a very funny collection of short stories. They are all over the map in style and setting. Not all are laugh-out-loud, but every story is worth reading. I read this book over a very long period of time, using it as a short "time-filler" since the individual stories take only a few minutes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    "Comic" fantasy is a misnomer for me. Quirky is probably a better adjective for my read. There were some stories that were enjoyable, some that were interesting, and some that were ponderous (mostly in the middle) to the point where I was skimming. I read the whole book a few pages at a time, and it did lend itself well to reading in that style.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kellyanne

    I really enjoyed this book. Some stories were better than others. I primarily brought it for the short story by Terry Pratchett. There are some good offerings notably: Ruella in Love by Molly Brown The Return of Mad Santa by Al Sarrantonio Shoggoths Old Peculiar by Neil Gaiman Although many of the stories did not make me laugh out loud, they were still highly amusing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    There is a eunuch short story in here: Jane Yolen's "The Tale of the Seventeenth Eunuch." As described, with spoiler, on Disruptive Dissertation. There is a eunuch short story in here: Jane Yolen's "The Tale of the Seventeenth Eunuch." As described, with spoiler, on Disruptive Dissertation.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Стоянка

    Some stories were funny, others were unexpected, thirds were extraordinary. A good 4 points from me. I'm not giving 5 because some of the stories were too awkward to understand and I don't see them as "comic fantasy".

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Melbie

    . . . I liked this one a lot. I'm a big fan of comic fantasy and these are some of the funniest stories I've read in awhile. --From A Reader's Journal, by d r melbie.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ben White

    More rubbish than quality here, unfortunately. Some decent stories but generally unremarkable.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    Good, but not as good as the other one. Even Gaiman's contribution is weak.

  27. 4 out of 5

    T.A.

    There was some good stories in here and some note so good but not one of them made me chuckle which was a shame as I do enjoy a good comic fantasy story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cornelia

    As with any anthology, some stories were more appealing than others. All in all, worth the read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Liana

    ...I didn't think any of the stories were funny at all. ._. Not a good book to share with your children either, as some of the stories are quite a bit... adult.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Seliat

    I think the book will be fun for enyone to read and to solve the mysteries and it amazon

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