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"Songs of Love and Death" is I think the third or fourth all-original anthology co-edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois in recent years, and their experience and powers of discrimination are at their peaks by now. This book is subtitled "All Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love," and features well-known authors from the worlds of sf, fantasy, horror, romance and mystery - and mash-ups of the same. We have stories ranging from Jo Beverley's "The Marrying Maid," in which a man with ties to the realm of Fairy must convince a young woman that she really is meant for him as Titania had marked her to be his bride, to "The Thing About Cassandra" by Neil Gaiman, in which a man finds that the young woman he'd made up back in his teenage years is now alive and somehow involved in his life, to Lisa Tuttle's "His Wolf," a twist on the werewolf theme that I'd not read before. As always there are some stories here that work better for me than others; for example, I couldn't get into Cecelia Holland's "Demon Lover" at all and didn't finish it; but with authors such as Tanith Lee ("Under/Above the Water"), Peter S. Beagle ("Kaskia"), Diana Gabaldon ("A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows") and Linnea Sinclair ("Courting Trouble"), there's plenty of variety and quality writing for everyone to enjoy. The trend toward mixing genres has been going on in fiction writing for some time now, and it seems to me to just be getting better and better, particularly at short-story or novella length. If you find cross-genre writing as intriguing and original as I do, then definitely pick this one up - highly recommended!
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on July 14, 2012
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I actually bought it for the last story by Diana Gabaldon as I am a huge fan and the story didn't disappoint.If you read the Outlander series this is a good one about the father of "Roger" who is a fairly important character in the series. It's nice to find out just where Roger came from and what happened to his parents. Of course Diana tells a story that immediately immerses you with the characters and transports you to a new time and place where you "live" with the book if even for just a few minutes. Wonderful.

A lucky side effect was that I found some new authors I will now hunt down. I'm a voracious reader and always am on the hunt for new books in all genres though I am not crazy about space stuff and actually skipped 1 of those stories in the book. I did however like many of the short stories in the book and will for sure source out the authors of the stories I did like. Wasn't sure I'd enjoy anything about "the undead" or a few other topics but I was pleasantly surprised.

All in all I am glad I purchased and will probably re read. It's a keeper.
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on June 9, 2013
It said all original but there were four I had already read. One I just could not read. But overall it is a good collection.
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on April 24, 2015
Bought it as a gift. The recipient said that he enjoyed the stories in it.
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