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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(3 star).Show all reviews
on March 2, 2000
I was thrilled to see Silverberg put this book together. Several wonderful authors, contributing glimpses into their own creations.. brilliant! (No Dennis McKiernan or Neil Gaiman, but you can't please everyone.) Then, after waiting a year, I see the publishers expand it to three separate (and separately-priced) paperbacks. What? Maybe they couldn't fit it into one, I'm not sure of how that's arranged, but there's no reason they couldn't do it in two books. Except the obviou$ one of cour$e.. find the collection in a library or borrow it from someone, but don't encourage the book company by paying for all three books! Please!
Ok, that rant out of the way.. this collection is fantastic overall, but somewhat hit and miss. Williams, Pratchett and Silverberg provide some wonderful short tales, definitely worthy of their series. Robert Jordan's, though very well done, will likely be incomprehensible and pointless to anyone not familiar with the series. (And even if you've read the series, it adds nothing. Too bad.) Feist's is only average.. probably could have come from anyone. But there's plenty of other Riftwar material out there. Martin and McCaffrey's contributions I found interesting, but nothing made me want to read more of their works. King's contribution was pointless and went nowhere.. much like the Dark Tower series so far. Hopefully he'll wrap it up in a nice way, but this small diversion is worthless. Goodkind was simplistic and had a too-impossibly-happy ending (just like the rest of his books). Decent, but he's better at longer stories. OS Card's awful piece of drivel is the worst clunker here, but Le Guin's bunch of aimless ramblings comes in a close second. Maybe it's because I haven't read any Earthsea books, but nothing was explained and nothing happened in the story. Still, why argue? Fantasy fan or not, this collection has something for everyone. Just decide how much you're willing to pay for it..
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on March 7, 1999
A note before I start: I enjoy reading all of the authors in this book, but I enjoy discriminating more.
Disparate styles, contrived stories, and writing that occasionally shows the author more interested in making the deadline than in developing the story. But for the avid reader of fantasy, a must-have. Well, I am that avid reader. I was a little disappointed, overall, but there were some gems hidden away in there, given the patience.
An author by author review is pointless and subjective, and only serves to demonstrate my own prejudices in the genre; having said that...
There are few truly great writers in the fantsy genre, a genre, which, it must be said, is often (rightly) maligned. But those few writers always shine through. IMHO the best of the bunch right now is Martin, whose Hedge Knight actually adds to the feel of the world of Ice & Fire. Martin's compassion and warmth for his characters shines through all his writing, even and especially for the anti-heroes (Martin's style does not create 'villains' in the traditional sense; the motives and passions of each are far too well portrayed, leading the reader to identify strongly with a character who merely has different designs and desires).
A close second is LeGuin, whose writing is, as ever, flowing and magical throughout.
At the other end of the spectrum, I still have a problem with King's series - just personal taste, I assure you - and found this to be the weakest of the stories.
Somewhere in the middle there are the others. Feist's system of magic itself explains why Pug is no longer a major character in his novels - rather the same problem as faces the comic writers trying to come up with new villains to offer Superman a decent fight... these characters become by nature too powerful.
Jordan's story adds to the depth and color of the Wheel of Time, but his writing still seems stilted by the need to describe everything to the nth degree. But at least something _happens_ in the story!
To sum up; if you like a particular series or author, then that short story is bound to impress. A grand idea, but I think Chris Tolkein accomplished far better with Silmarillion than this project can hope to do.
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on January 31, 2000
This appears to be a vehicle for TOR to get more books sold. I think these authors are just selling out and pushing short stories from thier already successful series to attract more readers.
While all the authors are true to their styles and series, not all the authors are of the same caliber.
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on July 2, 2013
If it hadn't been for Stephen King's Little Sisters of Eleuria and George R.R. Martins The Hedge Knight, this compilation would have been a big disappointment. The rest of the stories were not anywhere near as good as these two.
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