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My Favorite Fantasy Story [Paperback]

Martin Greenberg
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 27 2004

WHO DO TODAY'S TOP FANTASY WRITERS READ - AND WHY?

This was the question posed to some of the most influential authors in the field today. This book is their answer. Here are seventeen of the most memorable stories in the genre, each one personally selected by a well-known writer, and each prefaced by that writer's explanation of his or her choice.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully eclectic volume of fantasy writing Aug. 11 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed last year's predecessor volume, My Favorite Science Fiction Story, but this volume is even better. The premise is that eighteen bestselling fantasy writers were asked to pick their all-time favorite fantasy story (by another writer). The result is a very eclectic assortment of tales. Most of these stories I had never seen before (even though I had read other stories by the same authors), but the most enjoyable part was reading the introductions, and discovering why each author picked the story he or she did.
I loved M. John Harrison's story "The Dancer from the Dance," but I think I liked it more than I would have otherwise, just because Stephen Donaldson's very evocative introduction sets the stage so well. Also, I have always loved Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" stories, and I loved reading Robert Silverberg and George R. R. Martin each explaining why they chose a different story from that book, and seeing how their opinions closely mirrored my own. Neil Gaiman chose a story by R. A. Lafferty that I had never read before. Not only did I love the story, but it also made me reexamine some of Gaiman's own work, and think about the ways which Lafferty might have influenced his writing.
If you are looking for the fantasy found in endless volumes of Tolkein ripoffs and Jordan wannabes, this is not the book for you. (Even Margaret Weis, who has often been a guilty practitioner of the aforementioned, picks a beautiful story by Charles Dickens to introduce.) But if you are looking for one of the most interesting and well-rounded collections of first-rate fantasy literature to be found in print today, you should buy this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Fantasy Anthology Sept. 12 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a very good fantasy anthology. It's got excellent stories like 'Troll Bridge' by Pratchett, 'Stealing God' by Doyle & Macdonald, 'Liane the Wayfarer' by Vance, 'More Spinned Against' by Wyndham, and the classic 'Unicorn Variations' by Zelazny.
Not all of the stories are excellent. I didn't enjoy the older ones (I always have a difficult time with pre-1900 fantasy) by Ingelow, Dickens, or M.R. James. The Harrison story had so much information in it that it was difficult to follow.
What makes this anthology stand out from others are the short introductions given by other authors in which they explain why they enjoy that particular story. They don't always go into great detail (Marion Zimmer Bradley and Tanya Huff wrote very short pieces, but the intros by Donaldson and George R.R. Martin were particularly interesting.
This anthology brought several good stories to my attention that I likely would never have otherwise read, notably the Wyndham and Doyle/Macdonald pieces. There's a lot of good fiction in here for a low price. Check it out.
Was this review helpful to you?
2.0 out of 5 stars stiff fantacy Dec 8 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book because I love fantacy novels. Although, the stories are well written and classics. The book reminded me of assigned literature from english class, a bit dry. I did find a couple of stories cute, but not great. This book is easy to put down. If you wish to know the evolution of fanticy novels then you would enjoy this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good collection Dec 2 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book has a variety of well chosen stories, with the exception of "Stealing God" which I did not like. The writers have chosen works that are classic yet show a great variety. Must reads include the two Vance stories, the Harrison, and the Zelazny. This book is a good safe bet for the fantasy fan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully eclectic volume of fantasy writing Aug. 11 2000
By "sdixonsf" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed last year's predecessor volume, My Favorite Science Fiction Story, but this volume is even better. The premise is that eighteen bestselling fantasy writers were asked to pick their all-time favorite fantasy story (by another writer). The result is a very eclectic assortment of tales. Most of these stories I had never seen before (even though I had read other stories by the same authors), but the most enjoyable part was reading the introductions, and discovering why each author picked the story he or she did.
I loved M. John Harrison's story "The Dancer from the Dance," but I think I liked it more than I would have otherwise, just because Stephen Donaldson's very evocative introduction sets the stage so well. Also, I have always loved Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" stories, and I loved reading Robert Silverberg and George R. R. Martin each explaining why they chose a different story from that book, and seeing how their opinions closely mirrored my own. Neil Gaiman chose a story by R. A. Lafferty that I had never read before. Not only did I love the story, but it also made me reexamine some of Gaiman's own work, and think about the ways which Lafferty might have influenced his writing.
If you are looking for the fantasy found in endless volumes of Tolkein ripoffs and Jordan wannabes, this is not the book for you. (Even Margaret Weis, who has often been a guilty practitioner of the aforementioned, picks a beautiful story by Charles Dickens to introduce.) But if you are looking for one of the most interesting and well-rounded collections of first-rate fantasy literature to be found in print today, you should buy this book.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Fantasy Anthology Sept. 12 2000
By Michael Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a very good fantasy anthology. It's got excellent stories like 'Troll Bridge' by Pratchett, 'Stealing God' by Doyle & Macdonald, 'Liane the Wayfarer' by Vance, 'More Spinned Against' by Wyndham, and the classic 'Unicorn Variations' by Zelazny.
Not all of the stories are excellent. I didn't enjoy the older ones (I always have a difficult time with pre-1900 fantasy) by Ingelow, Dickens, or M.R. James. The Harrison story had so much information in it that it was difficult to follow.
What makes this anthology stand out from others are the short introductions given by other authors in which they explain why they enjoy that particular story. They don't always go into great detail (Marion Zimmer Bradley and Tanya Huff wrote very short pieces, but the intros by Donaldson and George R.R. Martin were particularly interesting.
This anthology brought several good stories to my attention that I likely would never have otherwise read, notably the Wyndham and Doyle/Macdonald pieces. There's a lot of good fiction in here for a low price. Check it out.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Anthology July 13 2012
By ODuchess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While searching Amazon.com for stories from an old favorite, R. Lafferty (superb syfy writer!) I came across this collection and found gems I would never have encountered otherwise. Discovering this set of the masters' own inspirations will make any fan hurry to expand their collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it Very Much Dec 6 2010
By Joanna63 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have always loved Fairy Tales and short stories, and this book did not disappoint. My favorite tale in this anthology was Mopsa the Fairy, and wish I could find more stories like it! I love the turn of the century (late 1800's) fancy that filled this story.
The stories were engaging and covered a wide variety of styles. I'd love to see another made with the same premise.
I'd opt for the cheaper paperback version though, this one seems a bit high priced.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read March 27 2013
By Peter Matthew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of fantasy since I was introduced to The Hobbit when I was 9. Then I found Howard, de Camp, Carter, Leiber, and I began a life long enjoyment of the fantastic.
In this anthology I was reintroduced to some old favorites, and discovered some new ones. Covering the range from Dickens to DeLint. I only found one dud in the group.most anthologies have more than one so I find this a good thing.
Strangely I have never read Jack Vance before, That will soon be remedied I though his stories some of the best in the book.
One more to mention was the one chosen by Stephen R. Donaldson The Dancer from the Dance by M. John Harrison. That story is a real glimpse into the fantastic. Amazing, Another author I will seek out.
Oh, yeah the bad one,(remember this is my opinion) Mopsa The Fairy by Jean Ingmow I honesty thought my head would explode, too long and too, way too, repetitive.
Overall, well worth the price for this fan of fantasy.
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