Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Urban Fantasy Anthology

I absolutely love reading an anthology. There are almost always authors I have never read or heard of before and I really enjoy the snapshot into their writings. I have found some great authors doing this James Enge comes to mind. I have also found that I don't like some of the authors stuff once I read it, Michael Moorcock's Elric in the anthology was great, the books were kinda boring.

This anthology is weird. It is isn't set about with a theme like Dangerous Women it is a collection of Urban Fantasy with three subsections. Each subsection has an introduction explaining the origins and the subgenre. 

The Mythic Fiction section was awesome, these is where most of my favourite stories come from. The introduction was written by Charles De Lint. He informs the reader that the conscious use of myth, medieval romance, folklore, and/or fairytales but are set in the real world, rather than in invented fantasy landscapes is a defining feature of Mythic fiction. 

Favourite stories:  

A Bird That Whistles by Emma Bull. A guy meets a faire musician and learns a fair few things. What I loved about this story was how music and human emotion was so central to the story and how the faire reacted to this.

Julie's Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. Julie has a unicorn in her tiny house. This story was so beautiful and made me think about art in a different way after reading it.

The Paranormal romance section was way better than I expected because the stories were really good. The romance aspect is just normal romance, not romance that doesn't make any sense because of crappy writing or sexed up human and vampire kinkiness.  The people in these stories have a connection to a zombie, a werewolf, a faire but so what? These are relationships exist because there is a world in which humans and the supernatural co-exist. The main focus is not the romance, or the relationship, it just includes romance and a relationship.

Favourite stories:  

Seeing Eye by Patricia Briggs. Kick arse blind witch helps out a werewolf whose brother has been kidnaped. Excellent characterisation in such a small story.

Boobs by Suzy Mckee Charnas: Teenage girl finds out she turns into a werewolf during the full moon. Awesome story about growing up with fantastical elements.

The Noir Fantasy section is heavily influenced by horror I wasn't such a fan, I found some of the stories to be super creepy and I think that was the intention, so well done to them! In the introduction for the section Joe R. Lansdale writes, "The fiction has an urban stink about it. The terror is often due to the actions of people: pollutions, street crime, over population, dehumanisation, and so on. What supernatural elements there are, are dragged out of the haunted houses, and int the tract house and walk up apartment or they lace place in the wasteland of some horrid aftermath brought on by the mistakes of civilisation". This is a perfect introduction to the stories and is so true, it was part of what freaked me out about it, so if this is what you might like, you will definitely appreciate this section more than I did.

Favourite stories:  

The Coldest girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. A more realistic story of a vampire outbreak. Great plot line and interesting premise.

Talking Back to the Moon by Steven R. Boyett. A modern day werewolf finds a human alpha. This is the most disturbing story for a few reasons, excellent use of build up and suspense.

4 out of 5 kickarse sort stories

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