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Fantasy Gone Wrong [Mass Market Paperback]

Martin H Greenberg , Brittiany A Koren , Greenberg , Koren


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Book Description

Sept. 5 2006
Sixteen Hilarious tales of the paths that shouldn't have been taken

Everyone knows that heroes should triumph, dragons should be slain, and maidens should be rescued. But what if things don't go according to plan? Here are fun-filled tales of magic gone awry, from an author whose unicorn protagonist takes control of the story, to a person who can hear food talking, to a confusing case of murder in fairy-tale land-with many strange events and surprising consequences in between.


Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (Sept. 5 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756403804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756403805
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,519,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this delightful anthology, 16 authors take traditional fantasy premises and color them ironic. The only criteria for inclusion is a whimsical sense of humor and a keen appreciation for the fantasy genre, giving the writers—among them veterans like Alan Dean Foster, as well as virtual unknowns—plenty of room to make their unique voices heard. Almost without fail, the results are entertaining, amusing and original, and remarkably self-contained. Expanding the genre beyond the usual "wizards and dragons" limitations, authors bring to bear such modern phenomena as psychoanalysis, online video gaming, criminology and management techniques. Of particular note are "Food Fight" by Foster, an intensely funny tale of a man whose food speaks to him; Christina F. York's cheeky "A Day at the Unicorn Races"; and "The Murder of Mr. Wolf" by Josepha Sherman, a police procedural that skewers nursery rhyme and fairy tale staples like Hickory Dickory Doc and Little Red Riding Hood. Though not always as clever as it thinks it is, Greenberg and Koren's refreshing collection should strike fantasy fans just right. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Humor and irony abound in these 16 new stories in which the "path isn't always the right one," and the unexpected prevails. Although the collection is uneven, it contains quite a few gems. Chips off the old, well-known fairy-tale block include Josepha Sherman's "The Murder of Mr. Wolf," in which Detective Beau Peep and his partner, Marie Gobeur (sheep in French), investigate the crime and prime suspect Little Red, and also Esther M. Friesner's "Crumbs," in which Hansel's son, Sir Hanson the Hawk-eyed, rides reluctantly into the Dark Woods and finds a very different sort of witch. Brian Stableford, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Alan Dean Foster, and Janny Wurts, among others, offer various takes on unicorns, elves, faery-hounds, goblins, a bored house pixie, hobbitlike beings, computer fantasy gaming, and more. Something for most every taste. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great quick read! Feb. 24 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book when I needed a break from textbooks and was extremely pleased. The collection of shorts are very good, with a couple that stand out as being absolutely wonderful. Here are my favorites:

To start off with, Battle of Wits by Mickey Zucker Reichert is a story about a character taking over the story. I've always wanted to see a story like this, and Reichert doesn't disappoint.

Goblin Lullaby by Jim C. Hines tells a story mocking the typical "quest" from the point of a overworked Goblin mother.

The Murder of Mr. Wolf by Josepha Sherman is a melding of fantasy and detective done in such a smooth way that is fits perfectly in this book and is a great tongue-and-cheek nod to the world of fantasy.

And my absolute favorite is Food Fight by Alan Dean Foster. You just have to love a short that starts off with the line, "My coffee keeps insulting me".

If you're looking for a quick, fun, fantasy read, look no further. This one is guaranteed to please.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 16 by 16 June 7 2007
By R. Howell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'll be honest, I only bought this book because of the great picture on the cover - two burly milkmaids toting a captured gnome on a spit. Inside are 16 short stories by 16 different authors. The premise was to submit a fantasy story that was humorous and ends ironically. This was in part to the growing number of comedic fantasy books being published. I didn't recognize many of the authors within and everyone will have their own favorite stories. Most of them were amusing and some of them weren't. It's better not to sit down and read the whole book in a short time because you'll become bored with it. I liked the book but really lost any desire to finish the last four stories because I was getting burned out on them. None-the-less, I finished them but didn't enjoy them as much as I probably could have. Instead, just read a story here and there and you'll appreciate the book more. There's a few passing comedic shots taken at some well known stories (LOTR, Harry Potter, etc), a few twisted takes on fairy tale figures, and talking food among other things.

Well, since everyone will do it... my favorites: The Murder of Mr. Wolf, Crumbs, Fellow Traveller, and Moonlighting. Food Fight was pretty good but didn't really fit with the fantasy theme of the book. Overall, if read sparingly, you'll enjoy the stories more and wish some of them were expanded into full books (Murder of Mr Wolf, The Poisoned Chalice).
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Writers Gone Wild April 4 2008
By Robert Bohms - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As with any anthology, this one has its highs and its lows, but the lows, in this case, make you go "odd. Not bad, just odd". The basic premise: Fantasy has a set of expectations we adhere to. What happens if those "foundational rules" didn't exist?

The result is a collection of sixteen stories from an assortment of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and romance authors, all of whom trample the rules in their own ways. From homicidal hamburgers to digestable spells, goblin nurses to loan-sharking pixies, there are enough takes on "Fantasy Gone Wrong" to make almost anyone laugh.

I initially bought this book because of the contribution by Janny Wurts, and the concept of "Food Fight", by Alan Dean Foster. In my personal opinion, while both amusing, these aren't even the high points of the collection. That might, in fact, be one of the stronger selling points. I personally wouldn't give a single chapter less than an 8/10, and that mostly because they cover areas of fantasy that I don't particularly care for.

There are a lot of laughs to be had here, and the authors do a wonderful job of making each story unique. Consider: three stories are unicorn-themed, but each would be considered noticably different from the others.

Anyway, it's not deep or serious, but it is a great way to brighten up your day.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars humorous satires that ironically lampoon the genre Sept. 9 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This sixteen tale fantasy anthology is filled with humorous satires that ironically lampoon the genre. Fans will laugh at the slapstick musings of authors like Alan Dean Foster, Brian Stableford, and Fiona Patton, etc. who all sixteen take amusing barbs at their own work. Everything is a target as heroes are psychoanalyzed, goblins sing lullabies, and food talks back to their diner with contempt even as the different morsels fight amongst themselves for gastronomical supremacy. Perhaps it is because it reminds this reviewer of the works of Jasper Fforde; my personal favorite is the nursery rhyme police procedural "The Murder of Mr. Wolf" by Josepha Sherman. The delightful jocular Shrek legacy lives in characters like Thimble Jack the Pixie or the media frenzy over items like "Local Pauper to wed Princess Penelope" as this witty fantasy goes right.

Harriet Klausner
5.0 out of 5 stars fun! June 13 2014
By KMH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great collection of off-the-wall short fantasy stories. I keep this handy for those times when I am between other books. Very readable even if you are not a fan of fantasy.

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