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Tanith Lee. Dreams of Dark and Light. Sauk City: Arkham House, [1986]. First edition, first printing. Octavo. 507 pages. Publisher's binding and dust jacket. Publication of The Birthgrave in 1975 heralded a new and brilliant luminary in the firmament of modem fantasy. Ostensibly a sword-and-sorcery epic in the tradition of Robert E. Howard, this novel about a youthful heroi Tanith Lee. Dreams of Dark and Light. Sauk City: Arkham House, [1986]. First edition, first printing. Octavo. 507 pages. Publisher's binding and dust jacket. Publication of The Birthgrave in 1975 heralded a new and brilliant luminary in the firmament of modem fantasy. Ostensibly a sword-and-sorcery epic in the tradition of Robert E. Howard, this novel about a youthful heroine with incipient psychic powers astounded readers with its striking originality and intense emotional impact. Tanith Lee today is one of the most versatile and respected writers of fantasy, horror, and science fiction, and DREAMS OF DARK AND LIGHT represents a massive midcareer retrospective of her achievements over the previous decade. Here are unforgettable tales of werewolves that prowl chateaux, an Earthwoman in exile on a distant planet, demons that inhabit bodies of the living dead, a race of vampiric creatures who prey upon a cursed castle, and many other works of exotic vision, mythic science fiction, and contemporary horror. Also included are two stories that have received the World Fantasy Award, "Elle est Trois, (La Mort)" and "The Gorgon," making DREAMS OF DARK AND LIGHT a distinguished one volume library of myth-weaving at its most eloquent and evocative. Although acclaimed as the "Princess Royal of Heroic Fantasy," Tanith Lee has long since transcended genre conventions to create a body of work of remarkable psychological depth and artistic distinction. In her imaginative sympathy with characters, human or otherwise, Lee remains unexcelled in the portrayal of deeply felt emotions. Her stories explore many of the most significant themes in twentieth-century literature - life and death, coming of age, the nature of good and evil, love in all its manifestations. And she remains, above all, one of the great natural storytellers working in the English language ... Tanith Lee truly has become the Scheherazade of our time.


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Tanith Lee. Dreams of Dark and Light. Sauk City: Arkham House, [1986]. First edition, first printing. Octavo. 507 pages. Publisher's binding and dust jacket. Publication of The Birthgrave in 1975 heralded a new and brilliant luminary in the firmament of modem fantasy. Ostensibly a sword-and-sorcery epic in the tradition of Robert E. Howard, this novel about a youthful heroi Tanith Lee. Dreams of Dark and Light. Sauk City: Arkham House, [1986]. First edition, first printing. Octavo. 507 pages. Publisher's binding and dust jacket. Publication of The Birthgrave in 1975 heralded a new and brilliant luminary in the firmament of modem fantasy. Ostensibly a sword-and-sorcery epic in the tradition of Robert E. Howard, this novel about a youthful heroine with incipient psychic powers astounded readers with its striking originality and intense emotional impact. Tanith Lee today is one of the most versatile and respected writers of fantasy, horror, and science fiction, and DREAMS OF DARK AND LIGHT represents a massive midcareer retrospective of her achievements over the previous decade. Here are unforgettable tales of werewolves that prowl chateaux, an Earthwoman in exile on a distant planet, demons that inhabit bodies of the living dead, a race of vampiric creatures who prey upon a cursed castle, and many other works of exotic vision, mythic science fiction, and contemporary horror. Also included are two stories that have received the World Fantasy Award, "Elle est Trois, (La Mort)" and "The Gorgon," making DREAMS OF DARK AND LIGHT a distinguished one volume library of myth-weaving at its most eloquent and evocative. Although acclaimed as the "Princess Royal of Heroic Fantasy," Tanith Lee has long since transcended genre conventions to create a body of work of remarkable psychological depth and artistic distinction. In her imaginative sympathy with characters, human or otherwise, Lee remains unexcelled in the portrayal of deeply felt emotions. Her stories explore many of the most significant themes in twentieth-century literature - life and death, coming of age, the nature of good and evil, love in all its manifestations. And she remains, above all, one of the great natural storytellers working in the English language ... Tanith Lee truly has become the Scheherazade of our time.

30 review for Dreams of Dark and Light: The Great Short Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elena C.

    Read for the 2019 MacHalo Splendiferous Book Bingo Thingie: Published the Year You Were Born. In this collection (the ratings are mine, obvs) you'll find: Because Our Skins Are Finer: ★★★✰✰ Bite-Me-Not or Fleur De Feu: ★★★★✰ Black As Ink: ★★★★✰ Bright Burning Tiger: ★★★★✰ Cyrion in Wax: ★★★✰✰ A Day in the Skin (Or, The Century We Were Out of Them): ★★★★✰ The Dry Season: ★★★★✰ Elle Est Trois (La Mort): ★★★★✰ Foreign Skins: ★★★✰✰ The Gorgon: ★★★★✰ La Reine Blanche: ★★★✰✰ A Lynx With Lions: ★★★✰✰ Magritte's Secr Read for the 2019 MacHalo Splendiferous Book Bingo Thingie: Published the Year You Were Born. In this collection (the ratings are mine, obvs) you'll find: Because Our Skins Are Finer: ★★★✰✰ Bite-Me-Not or Fleur De Feu: ★★★★✰ Black As Ink: ★★★★✰ Bright Burning Tiger: ★★★★✰ Cyrion in Wax: ★★★✰✰ A Day in the Skin (Or, The Century We Were Out of Them): ★★★★✰ The Dry Season: ★★★★✰ Elle Est Trois (La Mort): ★★★★✰ Foreign Skins: ★★★✰✰ The Gorgon: ★★★★✰ La Reine Blanche: ★★★✰✰ A Lynx With Lions: ★★★✰✰ Magritte's Secret Agent: ★★★★★ Medra: ★★✰✰✰ Nunc Dimittis: ★★★✰✰ Odds Against the Gods: ★★★★✰ A Room With a Vie: ★★★✰✰ Sirriamnis: ★★✰✰✰ Southern Lithts: ★★★★★ Tamastara: ★★★✰✰ When the Clock Strikes: ★★★★✰ Wolfland: ★★★★✰ Written in Water: ★★★★✰

  2. 5 out of 5

    T. Frohock

    This is one of my favorite Lee anthologies, and I highly recommend it to existing fans of Tanith Lee, or to those who would like to sample her work. This edition is out of print, but if you can land your hands on a copy, it is a treat.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christabel Simpson

    I’ve never read a Tanith Lee book that I didn’t like and this was no exception. It’s a retrospective of her first ten years as a writer and contains twenty-three short stories. They all fall under the heading of fantasy, horror or science fiction, yet no two are alike, and even when the subject is familiar (e.g. vampires), she manages to come up with a completely fresh take on it. The prose is wonderful as well – highly descriptive, but with an almost musical quality. There really isn’t anyone e I’ve never read a Tanith Lee book that I didn’t like and this was no exception. It’s a retrospective of her first ten years as a writer and contains twenty-three short stories. They all fall under the heading of fantasy, horror or science fiction, yet no two are alike, and even when the subject is familiar (e.g. vampires), she manages to come up with a completely fresh take on it. The prose is wonderful as well – highly descriptive, but with an almost musical quality. There really isn’t anyone else who writes like her. I have to confess, as a would-be writer myself, she leaves me a little in awe. Some of the stories in the book are based in the past, some in the present and some in the future, but they all have a timeless feel to them. They are filled with evocative images that remain with you long after you have finished reading and characters who are both memorable and well-rounded. When I think about them now, it almost feels like I didn’t read them, but they were actually dreams… voyages into an infinitely inventive imagination. It would be too ambitious to try and cover them all in this review, so I’m just going to focus on a few favorites. BITE-ME-NOT / FLEUR DE FUR This is a story that often appears in anthologies and is a great introduction to Lee’s work, because it includes many of her hallmarks – an original premise, a timeless fairy-tale quality, striking imagery, beautiful use of language, etc. It is about winged vampires who hunt the skies like birds of prey. These vampires have an angelic beauty and sing hauntingly as they fly, but are driven by instinct alone and have little capacity for thought. They live in a remote land and have laid siege to a castle, desperate to feed on the blood of the inhabitants. The castle is securely locked up at night, but this only makes them more determined to get inside, and one night, their prince manages it. Unfortunately for him he is wounded in a fight with a menagerie lion and captured. Meanwhile, the Duke who owns the castle has come across a servant who bears a striking resemblance to his dead daughter. He believes his daughter has somehow returned to him and adopts her as his own. Then she encounters the prince of the vampires and falls in love with him, but this is Tanith Lee, so don’t expect a conventional happy ever after love story. This really is a great story which stays with you long after you have finished it. The characterization is good and it has some nice twists. The themes include love, family, secrets, beauty and power. Definitely a highlight of the collection. A DAY IN THE SKIN I’ve picked this story out, because it is the first science fiction one and has a very different tone to BITE-ME-NOT. It is set on a planet occupied by colonists from Earth. A terrible accident has killed off most of the inhabitants, but the technology exists to keep their souls in storage and an arrangement has been in put in place that allows them to take turns inhabiting the few surviving bodies. The actual owners of the bodies are displaced and have to take turns along with everyone else, and the story is narrated by one of them as he is placed into the body of a woman for a day and meets one of his friends in the body of man. It’s a fascinating concept and Lee handles it well. She does a good job of getting into the head of the main character and does some nice world-building. The themes here include friendship, freedom, technology and survival. I didn’t like the story as much as BITE-ME-NOT, but it definitely shows the author’s versatility. A LYNX WITH LIONS This story, which I think may have been original to the anthology, is a second adventure of the character Cyrion, who appears earlier in CYRION IN WAX and in other stories not included in the collection. This time, Cyrion has gone to the aid of the leader of a tribe of nomads who used to be his mentor. The leader tells him he believes his son is planning to murder him, but as Cyrion quickly discovers, there is more to the situation than meets the eye. It is a tale of magic and demons with an Arabian Nights feel to it which I really enjoyed and which suits Lee’s writing style very well. Lee skillfully brings the world of the nomads to life and really keeps you on the edge of your seat with the twists and turns. Otherness is a key theme here, along with power, loyalty, truth and religion. MAGRITTE’S SECRET AGENT This is one of the few stories in the book with a contemporary setting. It is told in the first person and is about an art student who becomes infatuated with a man in a wheelchair after his mom brings him into the shop where she is working to collect an order. The order isn’t ready, so she offers to deliver it to their house, so she can see the man again. She finds out he is unable to care for himself, but can’t get him out of her head and comes up with another excuse to visit him. His mom then tells her a strange story about his conception, which gives her the idea that he might like to see the ocean. His mom is resistant to the idea, but she takes him anyway. I won’t tell you what happens next, as I don’t want to spoil the ending. The story is named after a real Magritte painting, which is used a framing device and ties in nicely with the surrealist narrative. The writing is wonderful as always and the characters felt very real. Things I especially enjoyed were the way the narrator’s growing obsession with the man in the wheelchair is dealt with and the way the fantastical slowly encroaches on reality. MEDRA This is another science fiction story, but the fairy tale quality that Lee is so good at is much more in evidence than in A Day in the Skin. It takes place in a partly ruined city on a planet that has been abandoned by everyone except the title character, who lives on the 89th floor of a luxurious hotel. The hotel is entirely automated and Medra never leaves it, spending most of her time projecting her consciousness out across space. Then one day, she is visited by an adventurer, who is searching for a powerful war machine. The two fall in love and make plans to leave together, only to find that Medra cannot go. It’s a bitter sweet story about love and duty, which really makes you feel for the main character who has everything she needs to survive, but is consigned to a life of perpetual loneliness. The idea of her living alone at the top of a hotel very much put me in mind of Rapunzel, though unlike Rapunzel, Medra is not rescued from her fate by the hero. The story has a dreamlike narrative which immediately pulls you in, but only gradually yields its secrets. The world building is excellent too. There is just the right amount of detail and images like the abandoned city, the skeletal birds and the hotel with its wedding cake architecture and climbing lizards are among the most memorable in the whole book. All in all it’s a story I would highly recommend. NUNC DIMITTIS I wanted to talk about this one because it’s another vampire story, yet completely different from BITE-ME-NOT. It’s about the human servant of an ancient vampire who finds he is close to death and sets out to find someone to replace him. He goes to a café for a drink and as he leaves a young man attempts to rob him. The man is just the kind of person he is looking for – handsome and strong – so he overpowers him and takes him to meet his mistress. The changing of the guard then begins. The aristocratic vampire in this story is very much in the traditional vein and is even called Darejan Draculas in a tip of the hat to the famous count. It is beautifully written (as usual) and although you anticipate the ending, it keeps you guessing about how it is going to get there. Some of the ideas are reminiscent of the novel LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (and its two movie adaptations), though I have no idea if this is just coincidence or if Lee’s story was an influence. Personally I don’t think this story is as good as BITE-ME-NOT, but I do feel it shows how good Lee was at finding different ways to explore a theme. SOUTHERN LIGHTS If I had to choose a favorite story in the collection, this is probably the one I would go with (after a lot of deliberation). It takes place in a quasi-historical land and is about a woman called Jaisel, who rather than becoming a wife and/or mother as society expects, has chosen a life as a wandering warrior. She likes the freedom, but it is a lonely existence and she often has to put up with being jeered and spat at. One evening, as she is travelling through some mountains in winter, she decides to seek shelter in a convenient town. The gates have been locked for the night, but she is able to bribe her way inside. As she wanders the streets looking for an inn, she meets a girl who has come to collect water from a well. She fills the girl’s buckets for her and carries them back to her house, hoping she might be able to stay with her for the night. The girl invites her in to meet her father, a blind alchemist who specializes in making clockwork devices, and they agree to let Jaisel stay with them. Then as the girl shows Jaisal to her room, she propositions her. Jaisal thinks the girl has mistaken her for a man and tells her she isn’t, but the girl says, “What does it matter? Love is love?” Jaisel is attracted to her, but suspects (rightly) that things are not quite as they seem. There are lots of things I love about this story – the atmosphere, the air of mystery, the pacing, the clockwork toys and automatons. It’s the characters and their interaction that really caught my attention, though. Jaisal was my favorite, as I love to see strong female characters defying the constraints of a patriarchy, but the alchemist was great too – quirky and a little sinister. I was kind of disappointed that the attraction between Jaisal and the girl didn’t lead anywhere, but can understand why that wouldn’t have worked in the context of the story and felt it was very nicely handled. The themes here include otherness, loneliness, love, family and the concept of life. It’s a story I will certainly remember and heartily recommend. WHEN THE CLOCK STRIKES I’ve mentioned a few times how a lot of the stories in this collection have a fairy tale quality to them; this one actually reimagines a fairy tale, namely CINDERELLA. The Cinderella character (who refers to herself as Ashrella) is the daughter of a witch who is attempting to use magic to take revenge on the ruling Duke for murdering her family in his rise to power. Ashrella aids her mother in this and when her mother commits suicide to evade punishment for witchcraft, continues the work in her place. Ashrella’s father remarries and it is the introduction of the stepmother and her two daughters which first alerts us to the CINDERELLA connection. When she reaches the age of seventeen, Ashrella succeeds in killing the Duke and his son replaces him. The famous ball takes place in honor of the prince’s birthday as in CINDERELLA, but the outcome is somewhat different. It’s an intriguing story which subverts the traditional tropes of the fairy tale. Gone is the goody two-shoes heroine who needs to be rescued from a downtrodden existence by a fairy godmother and ends up being swept off her feet the handsome prince, replaced by a powerful woman of action who is seen to be in control of her own destiny and achieves everything she sets out to. This is not to say that she is entirely likeable, however; she very much loses our sympathies when she punishes the virtuous prince for the sins of his father. All the characters in this story are morally complex, rather than being either good or bad, and no one lives happily ever after. If you like reinterpretations of fairy tales then this really is essential reading. WOLFLAND This story really put me in mind of Angela Carter’s collection, THE BLOODY CHAMBER. It is about a girl called Lisel who receives a summons to visit her fabulously rich grandmother. Lisel hasn’t been in her grandmother’s presence since the day of her birth and doesn’t want to go, but agrees because she hopes to inherit her grandmother’s wealth. She puts on a hooded cloak of scarlet velvet (in true Red Riding Hood style) and sets out for her grandmother’s chateau with some of her father’s servants. They are intercepted on the road by two of her grandmother’s servants, who insist that she dismiss her father’s servants and travel the rest of the way with them. Wolves run alongside their carriage as they go, but they make it safely to the chateau. Understandably the encounter with the wolves makes Lisel uneasy and her uneasiness grows as she starts to spend time with her grandmother, who is not only eccentric, but as it turns out, is hiding a dark secret. I won’t tell you what this secret is, though I may have given it away with the references to Angela Carter and Red Riding Hood. Instead let me tell you what I like about the story. The imagery is great as always (the wintery landscape, the isolated chateau) and the characters are memorable, especially the grandmother and her beautiful dwarf servant. Again, it reads like a fairy tale, but like WHEN THE CLOCK STRIKES very much subverts the genre. The grandmother is a strong woman who has managed to find a way to escape an abusive marriage and we very much get the sense that Lisel is cut from the same cloth. Spoiler alert – they do not get eaten by the wolves and no rescuing huntsmen is required. If you’re a fan of THE BLOODY CHAMBER like me, then you are definitely going to enjoy this story. *** That’s all the stories I’m going to talk about, though to be honest I find it hard to stop, as there were things I enjoyed about all of them. What’s great about this book is you don’t have to read it all in one go, but can just dip in and out of it. That wasn’t what I did, mind you – once I’d started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. My only real criticism is I don’t think the book is very well-structured, which is obviously the editor’s fault, as opposed to Tanith Lee’s. The stories are simply set out in alphabetical order, which seems a bit random. It also means BECAUSE OUR SKINS ARE FINER is placed at the beginning, when I personally feel it isn’t one of the strongest stories and doesn’t do a very good job of drawing you in. Perhaps it would have been better for the stories to have been chronological, so we could follow Lee’s development as a writer, or for there to have been some kind of thematic grouping. It certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of it – it just seems like it could have been better thought out. Anyway I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that my final conclusion is this is a book I would definitely recommend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    (view spoiler)[Out of print, but can be read for free here: https://archive.org/details/dreamsofd... Because Our Skins Are Finer: Bite-Me-Not or Fleur De Feu: Black As Ink: Bright Burning Tiger: Cyrion in Wax: A Day in the Skin (Or, The Century We Were Out of Them): The Dry Season: Elle Est Trois (La Mort): Foreign Skins: The Gorgon: La Reine Blanche: A Lynx With Lions: Magritte's Secret Agent: Medra: Nunc Dimittis: Odds Against the Gods: A Room With a Vie: Sirriamnis: Southern Lights: Tamastra: Whe (view spoiler)[Out of print, but can be read for free here: https://archive.org/details/dreamsofd... Because Our Skins Are Finer: Bite-Me-Not or Fleur De Feu: Black As Ink: Bright Burning Tiger: Cyrion in Wax: A Day in the Skin (Or, The Century We Were Out of Them): The Dry Season: Elle Est Trois (La Mort): Foreign Skins: The Gorgon: La Reine Blanche: A Lynx With Lions: Magritte's Secret Agent: Medra: Nunc Dimittis: Odds Against the Gods: A Room With a Vie: Sirriamnis: Southern Lights: Tamastra: When the Clock Strikes: Wolfland: Written in Water: (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Pierce

    This anthology of short stories shows how far an author can roam within one or two genres. From a story about a mystical, man-eating tiger to one about sharing bodies in the future… it also includes one of my favorite Tanith Lee stories, “Fleur de Feu, or Bite-Me-Not,” which is one of the best vampire stories I’ve ever read. I’ve also discovered a new favorite story, “Medra.”

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    The only story I've read so far from this collection is Bite-Me-Not Or, Fleur De Fur. This has a unique take on the vampire story and deserves it's own review. Lee's take on the vampire genre is very lyrical. The vampires are truly alien, a completely separate species. Is it possible for two separate species find common ground? What happens when two very different species collide? Night after night the inhabitants of a magically fortified castle have loud parties to drown out the otherworldly si The only story I've read so far from this collection is Bite-Me-Not Or, Fleur De Fur. This has a unique take on the vampire story and deserves it's own review. Lee's take on the vampire genre is very lyrical. The vampires are truly alien, a completely separate species. Is it possible for two separate species find common ground? What happens when two very different species collide? Night after night the inhabitants of a magically fortified castle have loud parties to drown out the otherworldly singing of the flying creatures that besiege their stronghold. Actually only the nobles party all night, the workers sleep like the dead from exhaustion. What would happen if there was a breach in the defenses? This story has a satisfying payoff. It is easy to see why Lee was a popular contributor to Weird Tales Magazine.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    Well-written, but not the sort of stories one wants to read more than one or two of at a time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    Overall score on this collection is 5.4 (out of 10) so not very good. I seem to have a love-hate thing for Tanith Lee. She's written some of my favorite books/stories but also at least a couple that I couldn't even finish they were so painfully bad. I read this collection of the last 3 years and finally finished it this morning. Because Our Skins are Finer (5.0) - Just having someone be a lycanthrope does not constitue a plot. Bite-Me-Not, or, Fleur de Fur (7.0) - Cool ending, good writing, but wh Overall score on this collection is 5.4 (out of 10) so not very good. I seem to have a love-hate thing for Tanith Lee. She's written some of my favorite books/stories but also at least a couple that I couldn't even finish they were so painfully bad. I read this collection of the last 3 years and finally finished it this morning. Because Our Skins are Finer (5.0) - Just having someone be a lycanthrope does not constitue a plot. Bite-Me-Not, or, Fleur de Fur (7.0) - Cool ending, good writing, but why no red? Interesting plot but just kind of waiting to find out what's going to happen at the end. Black as Ink (1.0) - Suucked, no plot, no magic Bright Burning Tiger (6.0) - Story about Blake's poem. Why is everyone so obsessed with this poem. Some cool imagery. Hunter turns into tiger. Cryion in Wax () - This story is in 'Cyrion' A Day in the Skin (or, the Century We Were Out of Them) (6.5) - Not enough living bodies so some made. (not sure what that means, can't read my own writing). The Dry Season (6.5) - Not bad, no big surprise, very atmospheric. Elle Est Trois (La Mort) (3.0) - No plot. 3 guys die. Foreign Skins (5.5) - Ok but too long. I like the Naga city but the plot was lagging. The Gorgon (7.5) - Heavy, distrubing, original La Reine Blanche (7.0) - Fairy tale like, sad and then happy A Lynx with Lions (6.0) - Forgot to review, best guess Magritte's Secret Agent (7.5) - Interesting twist on old myth, but kinda long. Medra (5.0) - Not very exciting. Kinda surreal. Nunc Dimittis (2.0) - Boring emo crap. Odds Against the Gods (6.0) - Kinda wandering around with a bad ending but cool retro fantasy pulpiness. A Room With a Vie (4.5) - Guy rents a room a couple months a year, makes it his own. Then he dies and the room is living. New tenant stabs it to death because it freaks her out. Kinda dumb. Sirriamnis (6.5) - Weak ending, too long, good writing, scary Southern Lights (6.5) - Fantasy story, not bad. Village of automatons built by a blind alchemist. Kinda freaky. Tamastara (2.0) - Very confusing. I do get the main plot and it seems like it could be good but just wasn't. If you die badly your next incarnation is scared. They make a machine to go back in time and help avoid that. When the Clock Strikes (6.5) - A dark version of Snow White where she's evil and the prince dies. Wolfland (6.5) - Kind of Little Red Ridinghood except she becomes a werewolf. Written in Water (5.0) - Very strange. Not sure where the title came from or what the story meant but at least it was short.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Emmons

    I am currently rereading this collection of stellar short fiction by Tanith Lee. I read this a long time ago back when I was in the eighth grade and discovering fantasy and Sf for the first time and fell in love with it. It has been made accessible through Bookshare, another good source of books for the blind and visually impaired that I have been a part of for years. I had sent this book to them almost nine years ago because I couldn't scan it because I wanted to read a more portable version as I am currently rereading this collection of stellar short fiction by Tanith Lee. I read this a long time ago back when I was in the eighth grade and discovering fantasy and Sf for the first time and fell in love with it. It has been made accessible through Bookshare, another good source of books for the blind and visually impaired that I have been a part of for years. I had sent this book to them almost nine years ago because I couldn't scan it because I wanted to read a more portable version as it were from the five volumes of bulky braille that I originally read this in. I am currently into the second story, bite Me Not, and just finished Because Our Skins are Finer. That one still is one of my favorites and a very haunting tale indeed. I was blown away then and still am blown away now for this reread. I just found this and am diving into it with all four feet and absolutely love this collection. It may be uneven, and not in any chronological order but each individual story definitely sticks with you in their own right and they are all fabulous reads. Glad to get hold of this one. I'm rating it now, and will add to this possibly when I finish but I already know I'm going to definitely file this one in as a classic to keep for quite a while. I found this through Amazon a long time ago and couldn't read the print and thus didn't know there were images and pictures in this book until now. So, I'll take everybody's word for it that it was well illustrated, but it's cool to know there were pictures in this book to add to the flare of the story. I can't wait to continue on through this. Feel free to comment on this as well anybody that follows me and if you don't follow me feel free because I'm a book nut through and through. As a librarian and reader adviser for the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Alabama, I tend to recommend this to any of my braille readers that love horror and scifi and fantasy as a lot of my folks do, but sadly some people forget the classics as this one is. I'm rediscovering old favorites nd finding new ones again that I have forgotten so this is a fun read. My weekend is going to be full with this one. Enjoy it if you haven't read it. I highly recommend this one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Myridian

    This is a collection of Tanith Lee’s “short” fiction, though some of it almost reaches the novella length in my opinion.  Many of the stories I had read before, and overall the collection felt a little uneven to me.  At its best, Lee’s short fiction develops an almost unbearable tension before pulling you through the resolution.  It makes me think of the uncanny dip in graphic art.  You have a sense that there’s something deeply wrong, but it’s just similar enough to reality to almost pass.  Int This is a collection of Tanith Lee’s “short” fiction, though some of it almost reaches the novella length in my opinion.  Many of the stories I had read before, and overall the collection felt a little uneven to me.  At its best, Lee’s short fiction develops an almost unbearable tension before pulling you through the resolution.  It makes me think of the uncanny dip in graphic art.  You have a sense that there’s something deeply wrong, but it’s just similar enough to reality to almost pass.  Interesting, whoever edited this anthology placed the stories in alphabetical order by title rather than chronologically or based upon flow.  I do think this interfered with my enjoyment.  One story would be traditional, pulpy science fiction or fantasy, and then the next would be something that should have come out of Weird Tales.  Lee does remain my favorite author. 

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Wonderful Collection of stories. Many short story collections are hit or miss, but most of these are right on target. They range, from Horror, to Sword and Sorcery (including one very funny tale) to Science Fiction, to Rewritten Fairy Tales. As you read the latter, you realize you have read this story before, and yet you really haven't. Based on this collection her influences range from Angela Carter, to Mervyn Peake, to Ray Bradbury to perhaps Ramsey Campbell. Hunt this down and Enjoy! Wonderful Collection of stories. Many short story collections are hit or miss, but most of these are right on target. They range, from Horror, to Sword and Sorcery (including one very funny tale) to Science Fiction, to Rewritten Fairy Tales. As you read the latter, you realize you have read this story before, and yet you really haven't. Based on this collection her influences range from Angela Carter, to Mervyn Peake, to Ray Bradbury to perhaps Ramsey Campbell. Hunt this down and Enjoy!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    A fabulous, fabulous collection of short stories. Like in The Gorgon, there is a wide variety of story type which is sometimes abrupt. Deal with it. This contains some stories that are also in The Gorgon. This book is actually hard to get, having been published once only by Arkham House. I'm so grateful I bought it when it came out. Totally worth it. A fabulous, fabulous collection of short stories. Like in The Gorgon, there is a wide variety of story type which is sometimes abrupt. Deal with it. This contains some stories that are also in The Gorgon. This book is actually hard to get, having been published once only by Arkham House. I'm so grateful I bought it when it came out. Totally worth it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    Shamefully, I didn't finish. I ran out of time and need to return this book to my library. I will certainly borrow this book again. I tried to read 1-2 stories a day but that was too much. Tanith's writing style is not quick reading for me. That said, I do thoroughly enjoy these short stories and highly recommend them to everyone. Shamefully, I didn't finish. I ran out of time and need to return this book to my library. I will certainly borrow this book again. I tried to read 1-2 stories a day but that was too much. Tanith's writing style is not quick reading for me. That said, I do thoroughly enjoy these short stories and highly recommend them to everyone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    Excellent retrospective of Tanith Lee's short fiction covering a great variety of genres. Tanith Lee 's style is haunting and exquisite. I especially love her fantasy tales. It's been awhile since I read this. Time for a reread. Excellent retrospective of Tanith Lee's short fiction covering a great variety of genres. Tanith Lee 's style is haunting and exquisite. I especially love her fantasy tales. It's been awhile since I read this. Time for a reread.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Navera

    Tanith Lee has a fierce imagination. She has taken on the mantle of Angela Carter with these varied and original stories; revisionist fairy tales, alternate histories, ancient detective stories. Characters find horror or sorrow at the end of their quests, rarely a happy ending.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a really stellar collection of stories from Tanith Lee, with beautiful illustrations. I consider myself very lucky to have it. If you ever stumble across it, definitely snap it up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Cozart

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  23. 5 out of 5

    Oro

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Edgerton

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Myrddin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  28. 5 out of 5

    db8832

  29. 5 out of 5

    Traveller

  30. 4 out of 5

    Irene Lofthouse

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