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The Solaris Book of New Fantasy

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This is a collection of original stories from some of the best-loved names and hottest new talents in a wide range of fantasy genres. These stories take us to fantastic new worlds in the classic genre mould, as well as taking on contemporary settings. Authors include: Janny Wurts, Hal Duncan, Juliet E. McKenna and Chris Roberson. Contents: Introduction by George Mann "Who Sla This is a collection of original stories from some of the best-loved names and hottest new talents in a wide range of fantasy genres. These stories take us to fantastic new worlds in the classic genre mould, as well as taking on contemporary settings. Authors include: Janny Wurts, Hal Duncan, Juliet E. McKenna and Chris Roberson. Contents: Introduction by George Mann "Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast" by Mark Chadbourn "Reins of Destiny" by Janny Wurts "Tornado of Sparks" by James Maxey "Grander than the Sea" by T.A. Pran "The Prince of End Times" by Hal Duncan "King Tales" by Jeff VanderMeer "In Berween Dreams" by Christopher Barzak "And Such Small Deer" by Chris Roberson "The Wizard's Coming" by Juliet E. McKenna "Shell Game" by Mike Resnick "The Song Her Heart Sang" by Steven Savile "A Man Falls" by Joseph "Jay" E. Lake Jr "O Caritas" by Conrad Williams "Lt. Privet's Love Song" by Scott Thomas "Chinandega" by Lucius Shepard "Quashie Trapp Blacklight" by Steven Erikson


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This is a collection of original stories from some of the best-loved names and hottest new talents in a wide range of fantasy genres. These stories take us to fantastic new worlds in the classic genre mould, as well as taking on contemporary settings. Authors include: Janny Wurts, Hal Duncan, Juliet E. McKenna and Chris Roberson. Contents: Introduction by George Mann "Who Sla This is a collection of original stories from some of the best-loved names and hottest new talents in a wide range of fantasy genres. These stories take us to fantastic new worlds in the classic genre mould, as well as taking on contemporary settings. Authors include: Janny Wurts, Hal Duncan, Juliet E. McKenna and Chris Roberson. Contents: Introduction by George Mann "Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast" by Mark Chadbourn "Reins of Destiny" by Janny Wurts "Tornado of Sparks" by James Maxey "Grander than the Sea" by T.A. Pran "The Prince of End Times" by Hal Duncan "King Tales" by Jeff VanderMeer "In Berween Dreams" by Christopher Barzak "And Such Small Deer" by Chris Roberson "The Wizard's Coming" by Juliet E. McKenna "Shell Game" by Mike Resnick "The Song Her Heart Sang" by Steven Savile "A Man Falls" by Joseph "Jay" E. Lake Jr "O Caritas" by Conrad Williams "Lt. Privet's Love Song" by Scott Thomas "Chinandega" by Lucius Shepard "Quashie Trapp Blacklight" by Steven Erikson

30 review for The Solaris Book of New Fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ole Imsen

    First a little bit about each story, and then a summary at the end. WHO SLAYS THE GIANT, WOUNDS THE BEAST by Mark Chadbourn A story of Christmas eve in an England at war with the Faerie. Chadbourn manages to convey quite a lot about the larger world in this short story. You get a feel that there is much more that could be told here, without that distracting or detracting from what is being told. The story itself is a well executed tale of suspense, and love. REINS OF DESTINY - A WARS OF LIGHT & SH First a little bit about each story, and then a summary at the end. WHO SLAYS THE GIANT, WOUNDS THE BEAST by Mark Chadbourn A story of Christmas eve in an England at war with the Faerie. Chadbourn manages to convey quite a lot about the larger world in this short story. You get a feel that there is much more that could be told here, without that distracting or detracting from what is being told. The story itself is a well executed tale of suspense, and love. REINS OF DESTINY - A WARS OF LIGHT & SHADOWS STORY by Janny Wurts Wurts' story doesn't stand to well alone. I've never read anything of hers before, and I felt this was more of an excerpt than a stand alone. But as an excerpt it functions well. It gives a glimpse into a much larger story that seems interesting. There's a real possibility that I will pick up Wurts' Wars of Light and Shadow books in the future after reading this short story. TORNADO OF SPARKS by James Maxey A very nice little story of dragons. At first glance it may seem like many other fantasy stories, and the themes of it are not new, but Maxey manages to give it some good twists that sets it above its common Fantasy tropes. Well worth a read. GRANDER THAN THE SEA by T. A. Pratt A good little contemporary fantasy about a town. Pratt manages to give us a good deal of information in a limited space, and the setting seems fully realized. The story in itself is also a fun take on the stories about weird religious groups and their gods. Pratt also manages to put in a sweet little love story. THE PRINCE OF END TIMES by Hal Duncan A very complex story, at least when it comes to language and structure. Duncan does it very well, but having only read it once, I feel a bit too distanced from the story by the complex prose. This definitely needs a re-read to really get a grip on it. KING TALES by Jeff VanderMeer The title is certainly accurate. VanderMeer has managed to tell three complete tales in a few pages. All of them are in the traditional fairy tale style, and they are all very good. These absolutely needs to be read. IN BETWEEN DREAMS by Christopher Barzac An interesting story about a woman in Tokyo. It's done well, and I didn't see where it was going before it had taken me there. That being said, it is barely fantasy. And what little there is of fantasy elements here is in my opinion not really necessary for the story to work. But I still really enjoyed it, and it is well worth the read. AND SUCH SMALL DEER by Chris Roberson This is a strange story. Not so much for what it is about, but it is a prequel story to two well known characters in fantastic literature. I found this to be a very interesting tale, and Roberson has presented it in a way that suits the story and the literary legacy of the characters perfectly. THE WIZARD'S COMING by Juliet E. McKenna I thought a story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It's debatable if this is a beginning or a middle, it certainly does not have an end. To me this felt like either a prologue or the first chapter of book two of a trilogy/series. This is a shame since McKenna's writing is very good, and despite its shortcomings this made me want to read more of her work. I just did not get why this was chosen to represent her in a short story anthology. SHELL GAME - A JOHN JUSTIN MALLORY STORY by Mike Resnick This is a pretty standard detective story, except for a few minor details. It's humorous and it's Urban Fantasy. Resnick has written a funny little story, and I liked it very much. I'll also be on the lookout for stories with the same main character, because this is a sort of story I would like to read more of. THE SONG HER HEART SANG - A STORY OF THERA by Steven Savile A combination of romance and quest fantasy. Maybe not the most original combination in the world, but Savile has managed to draw in some very thoughtful observations on the fact that you should be careful what you wish for, into the mix. A very nice story, with just enough sugary sweetness. A MAN FALLS by Jay Lake A story with a very good, and interesting, central concept. There is much to love here, in fact too much. This deserves much more than the short story it is crammed into. It doesn't help that the ending is both a bit weak, and very unfulfilling. O CARITAS by Conrad Williams Set in a post-apocalyptic London devastated by an earthquake. This is a strange story, that seemingly shifts focus at one point. Williams pulls together an ending that is both chilling and surprising. LT. PRIVET'S LOVE SONG by Scott Thomas Thomas has written what at first seems like a traditional love story. But it has a twist that turns it in another direction, and makes it much more than that. A very satisfying tale that manages to encompass both personal events and some greater events. SHINANDAGA by Lucius Shepard This story is very much of the lit fic type. And the fantastical elements, that make it fit into this anthology, are more ones of surrealism than fantasy in my opinion. But that does not mean I didn't like it. Shepard has written a great weird story. QUASHIE TRAP BLACKLIGHT by Steven Erikson A humorous story that is a bit hard to follow. Not only because there are multiple points of view, but because it is decidedly insane. It is a bit difficult to know if this tale should be credited to a great imagination or a good "medicine cabinet". SUMMARY Usually with anthologies like this I find about half the stories to be good, a quarter very good/great, and the final quarter meh/bad. This is not the case here. I've read quite a few anthologies over the years, and I would say that this is without a doubt one of the top fantasy ones, maybe even the best. I think every fan of fantasy should have this book in their collection. And it can also serve as a great introduction to anyone who has not read fantasy before. Get one for yourself, and one for a friend who doesn't "get" fantasy. This review was originally published on my blog http://weirdmage.blogspot.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aurel Mihai

    Many of the stories in this anthology are shallow and cliched. Or they are of a modern, experimental tendency that makes them difficult to process, let alone enjoy. At least one was directly pasted out of a longer novel, which sometimes works in a short story anthology, but in this case reads like a whole lot of nonsense without context. But then you have stories like Shell Game, which is just cheeky enough to make you smile without going over the top. Or Chinandega, a visceral, allegorical tale Many of the stories in this anthology are shallow and cliched. Or they are of a modern, experimental tendency that makes them difficult to process, let alone enjoy. At least one was directly pasted out of a longer novel, which sometimes works in a short story anthology, but in this case reads like a whole lot of nonsense without context. But then you have stories like Shell Game, which is just cheeky enough to make you smile without going over the top. Or Chinandega, a visceral, allegorical tale that smacks of Stephen King's early Gunslinger novels, but in a Latin setting. I'm not sure how that gem slipped into this crazy mix. How to summarize this in a rating? I'd like to give Chinandega a 6 and a couple other stories in here 4 or 5. The rest of the book I'd like to cut away with shears and recycle so it isn't taking up space on my shelf. YMMV. I'm sure there's something in this book you'll enjoy. I suppose it's a good recommendation for someone looking to explore the genre of fantasy without the guarantee of a good return.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Harmony

    Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast-5 England's greatest spy faces off against the Faerie Queene. Fun and fast paced. Reins of Destiny-3 A stranger seeking horses is not all he seems to be. Good intrigue. Tornado of Sparks-4 A dragon magician seeks a position in the dragon Kong's court and faces a moral dihlema. I like the dragon perspective. Grander than the Sea-5 A supernatural police procedural. Funny, tongue and cheek. great characters. The Prince of End Times-1 Inside the head of the darkprin Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast-5 England's greatest spy faces off against the Faerie Queene. Fun and fast paced. Reins of Destiny-3 A stranger seeking horses is not all he seems to be. Good intrigue. Tornado of Sparks-4 A dragon magician seeks a position in the dragon Kong's court and faces a moral dihlema. I like the dragon perspective. Grander than the Sea-5 A supernatural police procedural. Funny, tongue and cheek. great characters. The Prince of End Times-1 Inside the head of the darkprince as he wrestles with his next step. Very confusing. Want to like the word play, but it prevents clear understanding of the story. Made me feel stupid while reading it. King Tales-3 A series of 3 fairy tales along the lines of the Brothers Grimm. Amusing but not super memorable. In Between Dreams-3 A young woman in Toyko searches for her true self. The mystery of the man pulled me in but the lack of resolution was disappointing. And Such Small Deer-4 A tale of early Van Helsing in the jungles of North Sumatra. Adventurous and fun blending of 2 fictional characters. The Wizard's Coming - 2.5 A fiefdom is awaiting a rescue from raiders. The beginning was confusing. The most interesting character showed up at the very end. Felt very incomplete. Left wanting some kind of resolution.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Etola

    A solid collection that covered a wide range of fantasy sub-genres. A couple of the stories left me shaking my head, and a few ended with baffling mind-screws, but others were very enjoyable.

  5. 4 out of 5

    PurplyCookie

    Within this cover are sixteen stories by sixteen Solaris Fantasy authors. Readers need to have an open mind with each and every tale since it runs the gamut of what Science Fiction & Fantasy has to offer. Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast - Mark Chadbourn >> Is set in an alternate fantastical Elizabethan England; an England at war with Faerie, and spy Will Swyfte has been dispatched to Warwickshire to deal with a problem caused by Edmund Spenser and his love affair with the Queen of Faerie. Within this cover are sixteen stories by sixteen Solaris Fantasy authors. Readers need to have an open mind with each and every tale since it runs the gamut of what Science Fiction & Fantasy has to offer. Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast - Mark Chadbourn >> Is set in an alternate fantastical Elizabethan England; an England at war with Faerie, and spy Will Swyfte has been dispatched to Warwickshire to deal with a problem caused by Edmund Spenser and his love affair with the Queen of Faerie. Reins of Destiny - Janny Wurts >> Very longwinded and self-indulgent since the story read either as chapters from a longer piece involving a clan war of overtaking the rule of a kingdom. Tornado of Sparks - James Maxey >> A world in which dragons have human intelligence, behave and talk like humans. A skydragon proposes to become a court magician in the sundragon's castle. Promising start, I just wish I was able to find out the fate of the adopted human adopted by the dragons. Grander than the Sea - T. A. Pratt >> The tale of Marla Mason dealing with an insane sorcerer who is about to try to raise a dark god from the sea. Sounded ridiculous for me from beginning to end. The Prince of End Times - Hal Duncan >> Supoosedly elated to his novels "Vellum and Ink". The writing proved to be pretentious, focused mainly on baroque prose thus making the characters and setting completely impossible to identify with. King Tales - Jeff VanderMeer >> Consists of three short "fairy tales" of sorts but it is just so slight, it leaves no impression on me. IIn Between Dreams - Christopher Barzak >> Possibly the one I liked best in this anthology. Starts with a woman who serves as a cleaning lady in a Tokyo apartment and involves a man hidden a bedroom who spends all day dreaming, with his eyes open. This is instrumental to the woman finding herself or engaging in some soul searching. Abrupt ending of sorts. And Such Small Deer - Chris Roberson >> Sends Dracula's Abraham van Helsing to the East Indies where he encounters a strange man with the initials F.A.M. (another well-known fictional character -- but I'll leave the secret for readers of the story to suss out) and some terrible mutilations among the native staff. The Wizard's Coming - Juliet E. McKenna >> About a small country threatened by raiders who hire a wizard for protection. Found it to be utterly boring that I didn't even bother to finish it. Shell Game - Mike Resnick >> Another of the supernatural detective stories that seems to be abundant in SF nowadays. This one involves a case of hunting down a stolen lamia egg (the last of its kind). The Song Her Heart Sang - Steven Savile >> The story of a man named Lukas who is deeply in love with a blind woman called Lily. After Lily was healed by a witch-healer, Lukas feels she will not love him anymore because he saw the expression on her face when she finally saw him for the first time. He goes on a quest to find her a gem, and in the process discovers more about himself. It ends quite poignantly. A Man Falls - Jay Lake >> Peleppos is the son of the first among the Law Kings, in a society living underground. He foolishly ventures to the surface, and encounters another society of humans -- and the teratornis. O Caritas - Conrad Williams >> Reads as a psychologically darker vision or echo of Gaiman's London as seen in "Neverwhere". It has a very muddled up ending though. Lt. Privet's Love Song - Scott Thomas >> A ship's lieutenant gets in an unforeseen trouble when a love potion he intended for a pretty barmaid ends up in another man's wife's drink instead. At the same time his kingdom is undergoing a succession crisis, as the old king is dying, and his two twin sons are about to take over. Things work out rather intricately, and pleasantly -- it's a fun and somewhat refreshing work. The twin potioneers stole the show. Chinandega - Lucius Shepard >> A place that's not for the morally-upright and/or faint-hearted; Chinandega isn't a tourist place. But if you're looking for a haven of vice then it's definitely the right place. Unfortunately, the story's fantastical elements just serve as a flimsy cover for a story of incest. Quashie Trapp Blacklight - Steven Erikson >> Reads like Pratchett's "Good Omens" written in such a dull way. I didn't bother reading the rest of the story. Book Details: Title The Solaris Book of New Fantasy Author Edited by George Mann Reviewed By Purplycookie

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Williamson

    The Solaris Book of New Fantasy by George Mann Okay first off I am going to say we all know I love fantasy. I adore it and I adore short stories. It is what got me started as a writer.   But! And there is a but. You see one of the things that drives me nuts is a story where the author is taking themselves too seriously. They are not writing a story to entertain the reader, but to get themselves into collections like this one.   While there are some good stories in this collection (and i will review The Solaris Book of New Fantasy by George Mann Okay first off I am going to say we all know I love fantasy. I adore it and I adore short stories. It is what got me started as a writer.   But! And there is a but. You see one of the things that drives me nuts is a story where the author is taking themselves too seriously. They are not writing a story to entertain the reader, but to get themselves into collections like this one.   While there are some good stories in this collection (and i will review them over on my google blog) most of these stories are just the writers attempts to seem literary.   While fantasy can be amazing, it can be deep and touching and important, it generally is not literary to the literary snobs out there. This book is filled with stories that literary snobs would adore!   Anyone who knows me knows that I can finish a five hundred page book within a day or so. So the fact that I have yet to finish a book that I bought years ago should tell you something. Many of the tales in this book are just...not worth the effort.   Yes i have given this book overall a three star review. That is because there are tales in here well worth the read. Once that make me want to read them again. but over all...no, I would pass it by.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    A mixed bunch, 16 stories of fantasy generally well done Some interesting tales are in this collection, but they are sandwiched with some slightly poorer efforts, particular highlights include Mark Chadbourn's Who Slays the Giant, Wounds the Beast, a tale of roughly Napoleonic times with vampires, T.A Pratt's Grander than the sea, where a madman tries to resurrect a non-existent god, King Tales from Jeff Vandermeer has some great little stories especially for kids, Juliet E.Mckenna's the wizard's A mixed bunch, 16 stories of fantasy generally well done Some interesting tales are in this collection, but they are sandwiched with some slightly poorer efforts, particular highlights include Mark Chadbourn's Who Slays the Giant, Wounds the Beast, a tale of roughly Napoleonic times with vampires, T.A Pratt's Grander than the sea, where a madman tries to resurrect a non-existent god, King Tales from Jeff Vandermeer has some great little stories especially for kids, Juliet E.Mckenna's the wizard's coming is probably the largest highlight of the book which could be adapted to a series and the book is rounded off with a completely madcap tale from Steven Erikson involving an irishman, an elephant, a hurricane and a mental hunter with a sharp stick and a particularly scary looking branch to said elephant, a nice collection

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to short fiction. Because of my lack of experience in this area, I hope that you will bear with me as I try to provide a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of The Solaris Book of New Fantasy, even if I don’t always succeed. The plan is to first look at each short story individually providing synopses and commentary, followed by my evaluation of the compilation as a whole. So, let’s look at the stories: 1) “Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast” by Mark Ch I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to short fiction. Because of my lack of experience in this area, I hope that you will bear with me as I try to provide a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of The Solaris Book of New Fantasy, even if I don’t always succeed. The plan is to first look at each short story individually providing synopses and commentary, followed by my evaluation of the compilation as a whole. So, let’s look at the stories: 1) “Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast” by Mark Chadbourn. On Christmas Eve in the year 1598 in a world where England is at war against the Faerie, England’s greatest spy Will Swyfte is on a mission of the greatest import — he has until dawn to prevent the Faerie Queen from crossing over to the other side. If he doesn’t, then the Unseelie Court ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Average Rating: 3.16 stars (see comments on status updates for mini-reviews of the short stories in this anthology). Best Bets include: "Reins of Destiny" by Janny Wurts; "The Song Her Heart Sings" by Steven Savile; "Lt. Privet's Love Song" by Scott Thomas; and "Such Small Deer" by Chris Roberson Average Rating: 3.16 stars (see comments on status updates for mini-reviews of the short stories in this anthology). Best Bets include: "Reins of Destiny" by Janny Wurts; "The Song Her Heart Sings" by Steven Savile; "Lt. Privet's Love Song" by Scott Thomas; and "Such Small Deer" by Chris Roberson

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I've read: "Reins of Destiny" by Janny Wurtz - 3.5 Stars. This story gave a glimpse into the past for the Wars of Light and Shadow series. It was interesting, but I really would have preferred it to run just a bit longer. I wasn't satisfied with where she chose to conclude the short story. I've read: "Reins of Destiny" by Janny Wurtz - 3.5 Stars. This story gave a glimpse into the past for the Wars of Light and Shadow series. It was interesting, but I really would have preferred it to run just a bit longer. I wasn't satisfied with where she chose to conclude the short story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    I wanted this for the Will Swyfte story by Mark Chadbourn. Really enjoyed that story, but some of the others were just not my style.

  12. 4 out of 5

    bluetyson

    The Solaris Book of New Fantasy by George Mann (2007)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gina

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Fraser

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ana

  16. 5 out of 5

    Goetz

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Infax

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Eddy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eric Orchard

  25. 5 out of 5

    Renata

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lance Schonberg

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Miller

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marc

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marc

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kkgirl60

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