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Magical Beginnings

de Steven H. Silver (Editor), Martin Harry Greenberg (Editor)

Altres autors: Peter S. Beagle (Col·laborador), Emma Bull (Col·laborador), Charles de Lint (Col·laborador), Esther M Friesner (Col·laborador), Tanya Huff (Col·laborador)11 més, Ellen Kushner (Col·laborador), Mercedes Lackey (Col·laborador), Ursula K. Le Guin (Col·laborador), Megan Lindholm (Col·laborador), Lisanne Norman (Col·laborador), Andre Norton (Col·laborador), Fiona Patton (Col·laborador), Mickey Zucker Reichert (Col·laborador), Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Col·laborador), Susan Shwartz (Col·laborador), Michelle West (Col·laborador)

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Sèrie: Beginnings Anthologies

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
871240,410 (3.86)5
Every great writer has to start somewhere. Here in one volume are the magical debuts of today's greatest fantasy legends-with new introductions and insight from the esteemed editors.
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This is an anthology of early stories from well-established writers of speculative fiction, some of them nowadays big names such as Ursula Le Guin, Robin Hobb, Peter S. Beagle and Charles De Lint. Most of the stories are the first genre story the author got paid for to be published, but not necessarily the first that was ever published. I didn't exactly have overly high expectations before starting - I simply purchased it to complete my collection of the Ki and Vandien stories and thought it might be a nice curiosity and that it would probably be mostly interesting or helpful for people wanting to become authors themselves. As it turned out I enjoyed reading the book quite a lot, and certainly not any less than any other fantasy anthology that I've read.

It is perhaps noteworthy that of the 16 authors, 14 are female and a great number of the protagonist are girls and women as well. Each story is preceded by an author's note which, excluding a couple of them that were slightly off-topic or spoilery, were very useful in understanding the context in which each story was created. For whatever reason, the stories have been arranged in a chronological original publication order, starting from the late 40's and ending in the late 90's - and I think it’s important to note that. It would feel wrong to be too critical of these stories or compare them to each other - not only because they are “early efforts” but because they are from such a wide period of time.

Having said that, here are my notes on the individual stories:

- People of the Crater by Andre Norton
I found the premise interesting but very much agreed with the author’s note that if feels more like a rough outline than a real story. The plot basically follows a paint-by-the-numbers prophecy and the hero’s machismo comes off as badly dated. Not perhaps the the strongest story to open the anthology.

- My Daughter's Name Is Sarah by Peter S. Beagle
This was short and sweet and well crafted, but I was left wondering why it was included in this collection as it didn’t seem to me like a genre story.

- April in Paris by Ursula Le Guin
Having always appreciated Le Guin as a quite serious writer, I was surprised (positively!) about the humour in the story. The anthology really feels like it is kicking off here.

- The Fires of Her Vengeance by Susan Shwartz
Having previous knowledge of the Darkover universe would have probably eased me into this faster but this was my first glimpse of that world. I found the way this story treats the main character’s rape quite disturbing - although I can see how other people could see it as empowering. I want to point out that the anthology was published in 2003 so this is hindsight, but the author’s note gushing about MZB didn’t help matters.

- The Fane of the Grey Rose by Charles de Lint
I loved the language in this story, it set it apart without feeling too Ye Olde Days. And there was a sweetness to the story that carries through the sadness.

- Bones for Dulath by Megan Lindholm
It’s difficult for me to review this one without bias because I was already familiar with the world and the characters and happen to think Ki is one of the most delightful characters I’ve ever met. The only thing I can say is I wanted to immediately abandon the rest of the book and go reread the other Ki and Vandien stories!

- The Unicorn Masque by Ellen Kushner
I feel like I will re-read this story in the years to come, that there were layers and meaning I didn’t necessarily find in just one reading. I also felt I wanted to discuss it with someone and compare thoughts.

- The Stuff of Heroes by Esther Friesner
This is, thankfully, a very short one. I usually quite like the trope it employs, but somehow was left cold this time - maybe it was just too tropey?

The Ulfjarl's Stone by Mickey Zucker Reichert
This was neatly crafted and I enjoyed the change of setting from the generic fantasy lands to my familiar cold and dark north. Very well written, it was easy to feel sympathise with the protagonist.

- Rending Dark by Emma Bull
This was exciting, fun, and I loved the characters. I would gladly read more stories set in this world.

- A Different Kind of Courage by Mercedes Lackey
A sweet although somewhat predictable story where the Lesson takes precedence over Plot - what happened to the package they were delivering? Compared to the other Darkover story in this book, I found it easier to understand the world-specific terminology.

- Third Time Lucky by Tanya Huff
Amusing although again a bit too predictable. I found the main character intriguing and would probably enjoy more stories about her.

- Sing by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
I liked this one very much and thought it was quite clever. The author’s note definitely added to it.

- Birthright by Michelle West
Bittersweet but left me with mixed feelings. Maybe felt a bit rushed towards the end.

- The Jewel and the Demon by Liane Norman
Author’s note almost ruined this one as it gives away too much of the plot. I liked the characters, but found the way the demon spoke really irritating.

- The Raven's Quest by Fiona Patton
Before I realised the stories were arranged by publication date, I simply thought they intentionally saved the best for the last. Genuinely moving, well paced and written, there’s nothing I didn’t love about this story! ( )
1 vota nerwende | Apr 19, 2016 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Silver, Steven H.Editorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Greenberg, Martin HarryEditorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Beagle, Peter S.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bull, EmmaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de Lint, CharlesCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Friesner, Esther MCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Huff, TanyaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Kushner, EllenCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lackey, MercedesCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Le Guin, Ursula K.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lindholm, MeganCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Norman, LisanneCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Norton, AndreCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Patton, FionaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Reichert, Mickey ZuckerCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Rusch, Kristine KathrynCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Shwartz, SusanCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
West, MichelleCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Gurney, JamesAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Six months and three days after the Peace of Shanghai was signed and the Great War of 1965 - 1970 declared at an end by an exhausted world, a young man huddled on a park bench in New York. ("People of the Crater")
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Every great writer has to start somewhere. Here in one volume are the magical debuts of today's greatest fantasy legends-with new introductions and insight from the esteemed editors.

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