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From Ann and Jeff VanderMeer comes The Big Book of Modern Fantasy a true horde of tales sure to delight fans, scholars -- even the greediest of dragons. A VINTAGE ORIGINAL. Step through a shimmering portal . . . a worn wardrobe door . . . a schism in sky . . . into a bold new age of fantasy. When worlds beyond worlds became a genre unto itself. From the sw From Ann and Jeff VanderMeer comes The Big Book of Modern Fantasy a true horde of tales sure to delight fans, scholars -- even the greediest of dragons. A VINTAGE ORIGINAL. Step through a shimmering portal . . . a worn wardrobe door . . . a schism in sky . . . into a bold new age of fantasy. When worlds beyond worlds became a genre unto itself. From the swinging sixties to the strange, strange seventies, the over-the-top eighties to the gnarly nineties--and beyond, into the twenty-first century--the VanderMeers have found the stories and the writers from around the world that reinvented and revitalized the fantasy genre after World War II. The stories in this collection represent twenty-two different countries, including Russia, Argentina, Nigeria, Columbia, Pakistan, Turkey, Finland, Sweden, China, the Philippines, and the Czech Republic. Five have never before been translated into English. From Jorge Luis Borges to Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock to Angela Carter, Terry Pratchett to Stephen King, the full range and glory of the fantastic are on display in these ninety-one stories in which dragons soar, giants stomp, and human children should still think twice about venturing alone into the dark forest. Completing Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's definitive The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, this companion volume to takes the genre into the twenty-first century with ninety-one astonishing, mind-bending stories.


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From Ann and Jeff VanderMeer comes The Big Book of Modern Fantasy a true horde of tales sure to delight fans, scholars -- even the greediest of dragons. A VINTAGE ORIGINAL. Step through a shimmering portal . . . a worn wardrobe door . . . a schism in sky . . . into a bold new age of fantasy. When worlds beyond worlds became a genre unto itself. From the sw From Ann and Jeff VanderMeer comes The Big Book of Modern Fantasy a true horde of tales sure to delight fans, scholars -- even the greediest of dragons. A VINTAGE ORIGINAL. Step through a shimmering portal . . . a worn wardrobe door . . . a schism in sky . . . into a bold new age of fantasy. When worlds beyond worlds became a genre unto itself. From the swinging sixties to the strange, strange seventies, the over-the-top eighties to the gnarly nineties--and beyond, into the twenty-first century--the VanderMeers have found the stories and the writers from around the world that reinvented and revitalized the fantasy genre after World War II. The stories in this collection represent twenty-two different countries, including Russia, Argentina, Nigeria, Columbia, Pakistan, Turkey, Finland, Sweden, China, the Philippines, and the Czech Republic. Five have never before been translated into English. From Jorge Luis Borges to Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock to Angela Carter, Terry Pratchett to Stephen King, the full range and glory of the fantastic are on display in these ninety-one stories in which dragons soar, giants stomp, and human children should still think twice about venturing alone into the dark forest. Completing Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's definitive The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, this companion volume to takes the genre into the twenty-first century with ninety-one astonishing, mind-bending stories.

30 review for The Big Book of Modern Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Orey

    It's a cool collection, and there's something wonderfully powerful about having a single book with stories from such a long time period of time. With a flick of the pages I can read from the 1950s or 2010. That said, collecting important or notable or just plain good stories from such a long period of time is quite the task, no matter how big the book. This one is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive, and if you were hoping to hold in your hands one book to really understand fantasy and/or short It's a cool collection, and there's something wonderfully powerful about having a single book with stories from such a long time period of time. With a flick of the pages I can read from the 1950s or 2010. That said, collecting important or notable or just plain good stories from such a long period of time is quite the task, no matter how big the book. This one is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive, and if you were hoping to hold in your hands one book to really understand fantasy and/or short stories, this isn't it. Is something like that possible? Probably not? What's here instead is a nice spectrum of fantasy stories, including some by big literary names like Borges and Nabokov. I particularly liked the newly translated stories, which collectively make a statement about reading more widely outside of English language fantasy. In the end, I think it's better to think of the stories here less as the big ones of the era (though some are!) and more like a bunch of stories that the editors liked. In that sense, the big book is great.

  2. 5 out of 5

    mainelyreading

    I am a junkie for an anthology that is curated by the Vandermeers. This couple is the gold standard for editing large collections of genre short fiction. This volume is a great companion (sequel?) to their classical fantasy anthology from last year. I have to admit, I like this one a little bit more. I found the representation of authors to be exceptional, and the chosen selections were outside the box from what one would expect to see here. I can’t wait to see what Jeff and Ann choose to anthol I am a junkie for an anthology that is curated by the Vandermeers. This couple is the gold standard for editing large collections of genre short fiction. This volume is a great companion (sequel?) to their classical fantasy anthology from last year. I have to admit, I like this one a little bit more. I found the representation of authors to be exceptional, and the chosen selections were outside the box from what one would expect to see here. I can’t wait to see what Jeff and Ann choose to anthologize next.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Full disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Don’t let the “modern” aspect of the title fool you; most of these stories are ones commonly considered to be classics. This collection covers fantasy stories published between 1945 and 2010, and it serves as a companion anthology to the VanderMeers’ The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, which covers pre-WWII fantasy stories. As with their other Big Book anthologies, the VanderMeers have worked hard t Full disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Don’t let the “modern” aspect of the title fool you; most of these stories are ones commonly considered to be classics. This collection covers fantasy stories published between 1945 and 2010, and it serves as a companion anthology to the VanderMeers’ The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, which covers pre-WWII fantasy stories. As with their other Big Book anthologies, the VanderMeers have worked hard to represent diverse voices here, although they note in their introduction that this is, admittedly, a bit less diverse than their other volumes. The VanderMeers cast a wide net with this anthology, including stories from authors who aren’t typically considered part of the fantasy genre and drawing from everything from old SFF pulp magazines to literary magazines. In selecting stories, they tried to pick ones which 1) fit their broad definition of fantasy, 2) haven’t aged too poorly, 3) represent the spectrum of voices and styles present during the era. In this, I think they’ve done well. I can’t say all of the stories are a hit with me (indeed, this collection has a lower proportion of stories that I personally enjoyed than other collections of theirs, which is why I didn’t rate this higher), but I think this collection is well worth reading if you enjoy the fantasy stories of that era and want to see how the genre has evolved. There are plenty of familiar names and stories in this anthology, including from Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and Fritz Leiber’s “Lean Times in Lankhmar.” Other notable authors include Jorge Luis Borges, C. J. Cherryh, Samuel R. Delany, Diana Wynne Jones, Stephen King, Gabriel García Márquez, George R. R. Martin, Michael Moorcock, Garth Nix, Terry Pratchett, Joanna Russ, Jack Vance, and Jane Yolen. You’ll almost certainly notice many prominent fantasy authors missing from this collection (I did), and yet, given the inclusion of so many authors who don’t appear in other anthologies covering this period, I can’t really fault the VanderMeers in their selection. All in all, this anthology is a must-read for fans of the “classic” fantasy stories they grew up reading. With a whopping 91 stories, there’s a lot here to explore, covering a wide range of styles and voices over a period of 65 years of fantasy fiction. As with any reprint anthology of classic works, you can find a lot of these stories elsewhere, but I guarantee that there are stories here that you haven’t read before, whether they’re translated works or stories that simply slipped into obscurity over the years. For those who are curious about the table of contents, however, I’ve listed it below. Table of Contents: Maurice Richardson: “Ten Rounds with Grandfather Clock” Paul Bowles: “The Circular Valley” Vladimir Nabokov: “Signs and Symbols” Jorge Luis Borges: “The Zahir” Jack Vance: “Liane the Wayfarer” Edgar Mittelholzer: “Poolwana’s Orchid” Margaret St. Clair: “The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles” Manly Wade Wellman: “O Ugly Bird!” Abraham Sutzkever: “The Gopherwood Box” Amos Tutuola: “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Excerpt)” Gabriel García Márquez: “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Zenna Henderson: “The Anything Box” Fritz Leiber: “Lean Times in Lankhmar” Michael Moorcock: “The Dreaming City” Julio Cortázar: “Cronopios and Famas” Intizar Husain: “Kaya-Kalp (Metamorphosis)” Tove Jansson: “The Last Dragon in the World” J. G. Ballard: “The Drowned Giant” Satu Waltari: “The Monster” R. A. Lafferty: “Narrow Valley” Mikhail Bulgakov: “The Sinister Apartment” Italo Calvino: “The Origins of the Birds” Bilge Karasu: “The Prey” Silvina Ocampo: “The Topless Tower” Joanna Russ: “The Barbarian” Ferré, Rosario: “The Youngest Doll” Ursula K. Le Guin: “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” Henry Dumas: “Ark of Bones” Sylvia Townsend Warner: “Winged Creatures” Fred Chappell: “Linnaeus Forgets” Angela Carter: “The Erl-King Sara Gallardo: “The Great Night of the Trains” Samuel R. Delany: “The Tales of Dragons and Dreamers” Greg Bear: “The White Horse Child” C. J. Cherryh: “The Dreamstone” Alasdair Gray: “Five Letters from an Eastern Empire” George R. R. Martin: “The Ice Dragon” Leslie Marmon Silko: “One Time” Jane Yolen: “Sister Light, Sister Dark” M. John Harrison: “The Luck in the Head” Diana Wynne Jones: “Warlock at the Wheel” Stephen King: “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut” Pat Murphy: “On the Dark Side of the Station” Edgardo Sanabria Santaliz: “After the Hurricane” Rachel Pollack: “The Girl Who Went to the Rich Neighborhood” Leena Krohn: “The Bystander” Karen Joy Fowler: “Wild Boys: Variations on a Theme” Marie Hermanson: “The Mole King” Ben Okri: “What the Tapster Saw” David Drake: “The Fool” Antonio Tabucchi: “The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico” Leonora Carrington: “A Mexican Fairy Tale” Elizabeth Hand: “The Boy in the Tree” Haruki Murakami: “TV People” Angela Carter: “Alice in Prague or the Curious Room” Carol Emshwiller: “Moon Songs” Victor Pelevin: “The Life and Adventures of Shed Number XII” Patricia McKillip: “The Fellowship of the Dragon” Terry Pratchett: “Troll Bridge” Vilma Kadlečková: “Longing for Blood” D. F. Lewis: “A Brief Visit to Bonnyville” Kelly Link: “Travels with the Snow Queen” Rikki Ducornet: “The Neurosis of Containment” Rhys Hughes: “The Darktree Wheel” Shelley Jackson: “Fætus” Nalo Hopkinson: “Tan-Tan and Dry Bone” Tanith Lee: “Where Does the Town Go at Night?” Joe Hill: “Pop Art” Stepan Chapman: “State Secrets of Aphasia” Tatyana Tolstaya: “The Window” Jeffrey Ford: “The Weight of Words” Han Song: “All the Water in the World” Dean Francis Alfar: “The Kite of Stars” Alberto Chimal: “Mogo” Nathan Ballingrud: “The Malady of Ghostly Cities” Aimee Bender: “End of the Line” Victor LaValle: “I Left My Heart in Skaftafell” Sheree Thomas: “The Grassdreaming Tree” Caitlín R. Kiernan: “La Peau Verte” Sumanth Prabhaker: “A Hard Truth About Waste Management” Erik Amundsen: “Bufo Rex” Manuela Draeger: “The Arrest of the Great Mimille” Karin Tidbeck: “Aunts” Marta Kisiel: “For Life” Qitongren: “The Spring of Dongke Temple” Rochita Loenen-Ruiz: “The Wordeaters” Ramsey Shehadeh: “Creature” Garth Nix: “Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar-Pirates of Sarsköe” Richard Bowes: “The Bear Dresser’s Secret” Alberto Chimal: “Table with Ocean” Musharraf Ali Farooqi: “The Jinn Darazgosh”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marie-Therese

    4.5 stars An exceptional collection, vast in scope, diverse in style, including a number of works (even authors) never before translated into English. While I didn't love everything in this massive volume (in fact, I actually found one of the "never before translated into English" novellas* almost unbearably kitschy and clichéd and suspect that this particular writer's absence in English is no great loss), I greatly admire the editors' commitment to featuring a very wide assortment of modern fant 4.5 stars An exceptional collection, vast in scope, diverse in style, including a number of works (even authors) never before translated into English. While I didn't love everything in this massive volume (in fact, I actually found one of the "never before translated into English" novellas* almost unbearably kitschy and clichéd and suspect that this particular writer's absence in English is no great loss), I greatly admire the editors' commitment to featuring a very wide assortment of modern fantasy. This volume contains works that are: classic, popular, esoteric, forthright, depressing, inspirational, inscrutable, obvious, obscure, childlike, humorous, horrifying, exquisite, ugly, and everything in between. This is a truly expansive volume, a work determined to display modern fantasy in all its richness and diversity. It's unlikely that any single reader will enjoy everything contained herein (I certainly didn't) but I doubt that any thoughtful reader will find the time spent reading all these stories (and it is a considerable investment, even for those of us who read quickly) a waste. I'm saddened that the the VanderMeers have decided that they're laying down their joint editorial hats and there won't be any more of these comprehensive volumes. I would have loved to see them tackle the horror/dark fantasy genre, or something a bit more specific like dystopian fiction, near future fiction, or climate fiction. But I also admire their willingness to make way for others-others who I am certain will value and acknowledge their contribution to the growth and maintenance of great international anthologies the way the VanderMeers have always praised and thanked those who went before them. This volume and its companion certainly belong alongside the classics edited by Borges, Bioy Casares and Ocampo and Alberto Manguel. * 'For Life' by Marta Kisiel

  5. 5 out of 5

    Denice Langley

    I love anthologies of any and every genre. They give the reader a fresh look at stories and authors we'd probably not read any other way and they serve as a series break to give a reader different materials and characters. The fantasy genre covers a huge landscape, from Disney princesses to Brothers Grimm. So many readers will say they don't like fantasy without realizing it's woven throughout their every day TBR pile. The VanderMeer name is synonymous with collections of stories that span eras I love anthologies of any and every genre. They give the reader a fresh look at stories and authors we'd probably not read any other way and they serve as a series break to give a reader different materials and characters. The fantasy genre covers a huge landscape, from Disney princesses to Brothers Grimm. So many readers will say they don't like fantasy without realizing it's woven throughout their every day TBR pile. The VanderMeer name is synonymous with collections of stories that span eras and genres. This volume is "modern" fantasy, those stories published after WWII. There are 91 short stories in this volume, a fair collection of famous and unknown authors from many different countries. The settings and characters are unique...that's one requirement of fantasy...and as in all collections, you'll love some and hate some and reread many of them. I know I did. This is a great read for anyone interested in fantasy or looking to expand their reading experiences.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sydney S

    3.5 stars. Like most collections, this one has a range of stories: some good, some great, some not so good, some terrible. Mostly, these are good stories. And what a huge collection! I must admit I didn't read every single story, I skipped around to authors I knew and then titles that sounded interesting to me, but I'd say I read at least 3/4 of them. This is a book I'd love to have on my shelf or on my coffee table. I bet its beautiful as a physical copy (it has to be huge!). This is my second 3.5 stars. Like most collections, this one has a range of stories: some good, some great, some not so good, some terrible. Mostly, these are good stories. And what a huge collection! I must admit I didn't read every single story, I skipped around to authors I knew and then titles that sounded interesting to me, but I'd say I read at least 3/4 of them. This is a book I'd love to have on my shelf or on my coffee table. I bet its beautiful as a physical copy (it has to be huge!). This is my second experience with a "The Big Book of" collection, and I'm not disappointed. I'll definitely have to check out more like this.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I enjoy anthologies. The stories are shorter, there is a variety of themes and I can usually find a new author to enjoy. There are almost a 100 tales to read. Many of the authors are familiar and feature some of their earlier writings. The time line for this book covers the 1930's to today. This is the second book edited by Jeffrey VanderMeer recently. The subject matter covers a wide array. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. I enjoy anthologies. The stories are shorter, there is a variety of themes and I can usually find a new author to enjoy. There are almost a 100 tales to read. Many of the authors are familiar and feature some of their earlier writings. The time line for this book covers the 1930's to today. This is the second book edited by Jeffrey VanderMeer recently. The subject matter covers a wide array. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Big Book of Modern Fantasy is a massive anthology of shorter speculative fiction and a sister volume to the Vandermeer's Big Book of Classic Fantasy. Due out 21st July 2020 from Knopf Doubleday on their Vintage imprint, it's 896 pages (for the print edition) and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Big Book of Modern Fantasy is a massive anthology of shorter speculative fiction and a sister volume to the Vandermeer's Big Book of Classic Fantasy. Due out 21st July 2020 from Knopf Doubleday on their Vintage imprint, it's 896 pages (for the print edition) and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. Every single story in this collection is top-shelf, there are no really weak stories. All of these have been published previously and date from 1946-2018. Many of the stories are quite difficult to find and several were new to me in any form. One reason I prefer collections and anthologies is that short fiction is really challenging. It's spare and the author doesn't have a wealth of wordage to develop characters or the plotting. Well written short fiction is a delight. I also love collections because if one story doesn't really grab me, there's another story just a few pages away. I can only recall a few times where I've read a collection (or anthology) straight through from cover to cover. This one I did. I even re-read the stories which I had read before. The stories are very well curated in my opinion, and include titans of speculative fiction (Le Guin, Borges, Delany, and more too numerous to list) alongside authors lesser known (Zenna Henderson) or not generally associated with speculative fiction (Nabokov, Henry Dumas) but no less worthy of inclusion. Before I get the Zenna fan club after me, she's one my favorite authors and I still have my first edition (paperback) copies of The People: No Different Flesh, Pilgrimage, and The Anything Box, and I revisit them regularly. The inclusion of the titular short story, The Anything Box, fit well with the other stories in this anthology and I recommend her other work highly. I am a fan of the Vandermeer's work as editors and writers and this is another top notch quality anthology, massive in scope and size. Five stars. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Waits

    This book should perhaps be titled "The Big Book of Modernist Fantasy." While it covers a lot of ground from writers born in the late 1800s to those still writing today, it lacks some of the more modern, popular voices of the genre. (Robin McKinnley, Neil Gaiman, Mercedes Lackey, Holly Black) It does, however, include such notables as George R.R.Martin, Jane Yolen, and Sir Terry Pratchett. I generally love fantasy collections, and I have an entire shelf of Bordertown books, Charles de Lint short This book should perhaps be titled "The Big Book of Modernist Fantasy." While it covers a lot of ground from writers born in the late 1800s to those still writing today, it lacks some of the more modern, popular voices of the genre. (Robin McKinnley, Neil Gaiman, Mercedes Lackey, Holly Black) It does, however, include such notables as George R.R.Martin, Jane Yolen, and Sir Terry Pratchett. I generally love fantasy collections, and I have an entire shelf of Bordertown books, Charles de Lint short stories, and Firebird collections. This specific collection, however, left me less enchanted and more disappointed. I began reading in sequential order and found I had to put the book down and move to a more haphazard approach. Many of the stories seem to tell rather than show, and so many of them have a Nihilistic bent. I missed the joy and the hope for humanity of writers like Lewis and Tolkien, and I felt the collection could use more Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett-esqe writing to counter the rather grim stories. Zenna Henderson's "The Anything Box" was a bright spot, and Ursala Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" is always timely, tragic, and inspiring. Terry Pratchett's "Troll Bridge" is a classic. However Geroge R. R. Martin's "The Ice Dragon" was unwieldy, and I could not get a handle on Nabokov's "Signs and Symbols" (although that seems to be the point, according to the blurb before). This is a large compendium covering various important voices of the Fantasy Genre, largely published in the 20th century. Some of these stories are gems, some I would not have included. Overall, it feels like an attempt to impose some sort of literary agenda on a wildly undulating genre. But that's part of the fun of speculative fiction-- there is no right answer and we all bring different interpretations to the stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lee Sharp

    Thank you to The Big Book of Modern Fantasy and author Jeffrey S. VanderMeer for the chance to review this advanced reader's copy. When it says Big Book in the title, you better believe it! It is a very deep pull from the roots of Fantasy. I wonder if Modern Fantasy is truly an accurate descriptive part of the title though, since many of the stories are pulled deep from archives in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, from a variety of old pulp magazines that serviced this genre. The author gave each au Thank you to The Big Book of Modern Fantasy and author Jeffrey S. VanderMeer for the chance to review this advanced reader's copy. When it says Big Book in the title, you better believe it! It is a very deep pull from the roots of Fantasy. I wonder if Modern Fantasy is truly an accurate descriptive part of the title though, since many of the stories are pulled deep from archives in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, from a variety of old pulp magazines that serviced this genre. The author gave each author a 1 to 2 page biography, which also talked about how the chosen work fit within the historical and developmental context of the genre. There were some stories I loved and some I found myself either slogging through or leaving entirely after a couple of pages. Nonetheless, if you find yourself enjoying only half of the stories in this book, it is still a worthwhile purchase. It is interesting to read back to the roots of this literary field. Again, this massive collection has something for everyone, including a diverse cast of authors, in terms of national origin, gender, and personal backgrounds. The author's detailed biographies for the various contributors are a valuable addition to the book. For a book examining "Modern Fantasy", I would have prefered a heavier tilt towards works published after 2000, not before. This is a great coffee table book, but not a collection of stories to take on a mass transit platform for a light read, since it is so large.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melvyn

    As always, I find it very difficult to review a collection of stories, as they all differ in quality; and in this case they are also from a large variety of authors from the 20th century. However, I will say that as a whole, it is an amazing selection of authors and short-stories. The VanderMeers have obviously put a lot of thought in which authors to choose, by handpicking writers from diverse backgrounds and countries. I absolutely loved the small biographies at the start of each new chapter, As always, I find it very difficult to review a collection of stories, as they all differ in quality; and in this case they are also from a large variety of authors from the 20th century. However, I will say that as a whole, it is an amazing selection of authors and short-stories. The VanderMeers have obviously put a lot of thought in which authors to choose, by handpicking writers from diverse backgrounds and countries. I absolutely loved the small biographies at the start of each new chapter, introducing the author of the following tale. It was very educational and gave context to some of the stories, which might have been read a little differently without it. For the short-stories themselves, some are great, some not so much (in my opinion and according to my personal taste). Admittedly, I skipped to the end of some narratives to make my way onto the next one. The editors did a great job at selecting stories that are very distinct and cover a large mix of themes, concepts and plot-lines, presenting all the facets of the fantasy genre. My personal favourites from this collection are (in order of appearance): The Anything Box by Zenna Henderson, The Drowned Giant by J.G. Ballard, The Origin of the Birds by Italo Calvino, Linnaeus Forgets by Fred Chappell, Troll Bridge by Terry Pratchett, Tan-Tan and Dry Bone by Nalo Hopkinson, The Wordeaters by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and, last but not least, The Jinn Darazgosh by Musharraf Ali Farooqi.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Des Lewis

    CAVEAT: I brought the above star rating down from five to four simply because it contains a brief story by myself! THE WORDEATERS by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz “So many stories packed into books. So many words packed into libraries waiting to be tasted, and swallowed by people like me.” A miraculous story of the sapient sapor of words as you ‘eat’ them from the pages in great soulful literature, and of how this phenomenon affects a childless couple, and the state of writer’s block. And the arrival of an Ar CAVEAT: I brought the above star rating down from five to four simply because it contains a brief story by myself! THE WORDEATERS by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz “So many stories packed into books. So many words packed into libraries waiting to be tasted, and swallowed by people like me.” A miraculous story of the sapient sapor of words as you ‘eat’ them from the pages in great soulful literature, and of how this phenomenon affects a childless couple, and the state of writer’s block. And the arrival of an Ariel of words as a surrogate child…. I already have believed that this big and packed book itself has its own such soul or ingested gestalt. This story must now be its emblem. A fearless faith in fiction and its preternatural power as this site has long claimed. The detailed review of this massive book posted elsewhere under my name is too long to post here. Above is one of its observations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dan Trefethen

    “Big Book” is correct, about 900 pages of selected short fantasy from 1945 to 2010. The editors cut off the date at 2010 to give some time to evaluate the quality of published fantasy. Still, I felt this anthology was not up to the standards of the previous book, “The Big Book of Classic Fantasy”. The stories in this volume range in length from short-shorts to novelettes. The styles vary dramatically too, from traditional narrative fantasy stories (about pirates, haunted houses and such) to very “Big Book” is correct, about 900 pages of selected short fantasy from 1945 to 2010. The editors cut off the date at 2010 to give some time to evaluate the quality of published fantasy. Still, I felt this anthology was not up to the standards of the previous book, “The Big Book of Classic Fantasy”. The stories in this volume range in length from short-shorts to novelettes. The styles vary dramatically too, from traditional narrative fantasy stories (about pirates, haunted houses and such) to very surreal, non-linear pieces that read like random imaginings. Once again the editors have striven to expose stories translated into English from other languages and cultures, and do a creditable job with this. I did not enjoy this volume as much as its predecessor, perhaps due to the passage of time cementing the 'classic' nature of story-telling. This volume's tendency towards more experimental techniques left me cold, but your mileage may vary.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aubree | Literately Speaking

    As a fan of both Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's works and anthologies, I loved The Big Book of Modern Fantasy! As experts in the fictional genre, their selections are amazing, including stories from great authors such as George R.R. Martin, Diana Wynne Jones, Haruki Murakami, and Terry Pratchett. Not only is this a great book to skip around in order to find stories from authors you love, it is also a great resource for finding new authors and stories, broadening the modern fantasy-lover's horizons. I As a fan of both Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's works and anthologies, I loved The Big Book of Modern Fantasy! As experts in the fictional genre, their selections are amazing, including stories from great authors such as George R.R. Martin, Diana Wynne Jones, Haruki Murakami, and Terry Pratchett. Not only is this a great book to skip around in order to find stories from authors you love, it is also a great resource for finding new authors and stories, broadening the modern fantasy-lover's horizons. I personally loved the diversity of both the authors and stories, finding that the VanderMeers have done an amazing job at showing readers how unique, expansive, and different Fantasy can be in order to give all readers stories that will appeal to them. Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    While I began this book by reading it sequentially, I ended up skipping around to sample many of the different authors. This volume is an impressive survey of post-WWII fantasy that includes many of the stalwarts of the genre, while also exposing readers to many less-famous authors, or those who are typically classified as outside the fantasy genre. I didn't adore every story in the volume and skipped portions of some if they did not engage my interest, but for a book this thorough, if there was While I began this book by reading it sequentially, I ended up skipping around to sample many of the different authors. This volume is an impressive survey of post-WWII fantasy that includes many of the stalwarts of the genre, while also exposing readers to many less-famous authors, or those who are typically classified as outside the fantasy genre. I didn't adore every story in the volume and skipped portions of some if they did not engage my interest, but for a book this thorough, if there was a story I disliked, there was always a great new one shortly thereafter. This book is a treasure, as are the Vandermeers' other massive fiction anthologies, and I purchased a physical copy to complement my free advance ebook from Netgalley. Highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Groucho42

    Not good. First, it's "modern" only in the sense it isn't ancient Greek. It starts in the early 20th century. Second, the editors seem to be confused about the difference between fantasy and fantastic. A ghost or other singular supernatural event doesn't make a story fantasy. A consistent magical environment does that. In order to try for pretentiousness fantasy doesn't require, the editors focus on the fantastic, especially in the many translations that supposed give the collection culture they Not good. First, it's "modern" only in the sense it isn't ancient Greek. It starts in the early 20th century. Second, the editors seem to be confused about the difference between fantasy and fantastic. A ghost or other singular supernatural event doesn't make a story fantasy. A consistent magical environment does that. In order to try for pretentiousness fantasy doesn't require, the editors focus on the fantastic, especially in the many translations that supposed give the collection culture they don't think would exist in the rich history of fantasy in the US. What fantasy that does exist is rather trite. Maybe it got better in the second half, but I didn't have any more patience for this travesty.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    When they say "Big", this is a bit of an understatement. This collection is huge! There is an incredible selection of authors from all over the world, most of whom were unknown to me before picking up this book. Before each tale, there is a mini biography of the author which I enjoyed. But I enjoyed the stories more. This is an absolutely wonderful book that no fan of fantasy should miss out on. My thanks to the author, publisher, and Edelweiss+ for a free copy to review. This review is entirely When they say "Big", this is a bit of an understatement. This collection is huge! There is an incredible selection of authors from all over the world, most of whom were unknown to me before picking up this book. Before each tale, there is a mini biography of the author which I enjoyed. But I enjoyed the stories more. This is an absolutely wonderful book that no fan of fantasy should miss out on. My thanks to the author, publisher, and Edelweiss+ for a free copy to review. This review is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joan Hoffman

    From well known fantasy writers to lesser known ones, this anthology has a wide range of stories. Tales from all over the world, from lands familiar and strange, real and imagined, are presented here. The writers are from many countries and cultures, some appearing in English for the first time. With about 90 stories, fantasy readers will find something for every taste. I plan to buy a copy for myself!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steff

    DNF I became so disheartened after reading unfulfilling story after unfulfilling story that I could not bring myself to even read those of the writers that I know. I’m not sure that Ann and Jeff have the same idea as me on what constitutes a “modern” fantasy, I knew before I had started that stories where supposed to be from the 1950s up, but, the first couple at least, I found had a clunky feel of times past.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    An appealing book for persons looking forward to discovering new secrets about the most mysterious creatures and places in the world. it can be read as a fantasy novel or as an awesome encyclopedia. Most importantly, it's a matter of mixing cultures and creates something both unique and relatable. Such a fun and great read! An appealing book for persons looking forward to discovering new secrets about the most mysterious creatures and places in the world. it can be read as a fantasy novel or as an awesome encyclopedia. Most importantly, it's a matter of mixing cultures and creates something both unique and relatable. Such a fun and great read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Not surprisingly, this is quite good. The editors are well established and do a great job providing a wide variety of stories. "Big" is certainly apt. You're guaranteed not to like every tale, but most are worthwhile in some way, and of course some are great. Recommended for fantasy fans. I really appreciate the ARC for review!! Not surprisingly, this is quite good. The editors are well established and do a great job providing a wide variety of stories. "Big" is certainly apt. You're guaranteed not to like every tale, but most are worthwhile in some way, and of course some are great. Recommended for fantasy fans. I really appreciate the ARC for review!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alexis Stankewitz

    A good anthology of Fantasy stories. Although I was aware that this was a companion to The VanderMeer's "The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, I assumed by "Modern", they ment "today's fantasy", not after WWI. But it's still a decent collection. A good anthology of Fantasy stories. Although I was aware that this was a companion to The VanderMeer's "The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, I assumed by "Modern", they ment "today's fantasy", not after WWI. But it's still a decent collection.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brittney

    There is no doubt that there are some amazing authors in this book, but I found this boring and I struggled to read through it. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC. All opinions are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    This collection was pretty good. It included some stories that I found to be not the fantasy I am used to. It gives a good explanation in the front as to what the author considered fantasy. I probably would have wondered why some stories were included.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    It was a fascinating and engrossing read. I loved the stories and I discovered some new to me author. It's an excellent read that I strongly recommend. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine It was a fascinating and engrossing read. I loved the stories and I discovered some new to me author. It's an excellent read that I strongly recommend. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Osmosisch

    An excellent collection, showcasing a vast variety of authors and styles. While there's some stories I couldn't help but skip over, there's enough gold here for anyone. An excellent collection, showcasing a vast variety of authors and styles. While there's some stories I couldn't help but skip over, there's enough gold here for anyone.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bianca Henderson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ed

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aleksander Jakobcic

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mark

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