The Wizards of Odd: Comic Tales of Fantasy Paperback – May 1 1997
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About the Author
Peter Haining was a prolific editor of anthologies and collections throughout all subgenres of fiction, and he also wrote his own short stories, recently a series about the Second World War. He collected and edited several books about Sherlock Holmes including The Sherlock Holmes Scrapbook and The Television Sherlock Holmes to tie in with the iconic Jeremy Brett series of the eighties and nineties. He died in 2007.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I found many of the stories to be amusing and fairly intriguing, covering a range of topics from time travel to aliens to dragons and mythical beasts. My only complaint is that it was not as funny as I had expected. The book claims to be a "delightful collection of comic science fiction and fantasy", but I only found half (if that) of the stories to even make me smile.
It is a good read nonetheless. Entertaining, great for an afternoon by the pool. The stories read quickly, and you can easily finish three or more in a sitting, without realizing you've done so. I would recommend it to lovers of fantasy and science fiction, particularly if you are familiar with the authors featured.
One last note: I really appreciated the short bio on each of the authors at the beginning of their stories. You get to know a bit about them before reading their work, and it makes it all that much more interesting.
The book features some stories from some of my favorite authors, but the structure of the short story worked against almost every one of them. In almost every case, the plots didn't have enough space to expand: I could tell what might have been there in Pratchett's story in particular. Similarly, the characters were often sketchy and minimal.
The final word is, I am keeping the book (when I easily could re-sell it), simply because I still enjoy the authors and I may need examples for my own review of how to write a short story.
If you are looking for a wacky collection of sci-fi fantasy literature, I highly recommend this volume. It has introduced me to a wide variety of authors and universes that I might never have found on my own.