Tag Archives: contemporary fantasy

Charles de Lint’s Somewhere in My Mind There Is A Painting Box

One of the great joys of the digital publishing age is that it allows authors like Charles de Lint to offer up their back list of short stories and novels to us on their own terms. Some of these stories … Continue reading

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Toby Barlow’s Sharp Teeth

I’ve had one previous experience with fantasy in verse (well, unless one counts the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the like), and it wasn’t a happy one. Nevertheless, when Toby Barlow’s Sharp Teeth crossed my desk, I screwed my courage to … Continue reading

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Recent Reading: Wolves, Wives, Knives, Curses, A Hospital, and a Henchgirl

The works read but yet to be reviewed are piling up, so here’s a new roundup to clear away part of the deluge. The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley is a retelling of Beowulf from the monster’s point of … Continue reading

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Jane Lindskold’s Changer

Urban fanstasy is a subgenre with as many sets of criteria as there are practitioners. Ranging from the Celto-Amerindian universe of Charles de Lint’s urban Canada and Neil Gaiman’s eclectic universe of the Dreaming, with even hybrids such as Mark … Continue reading

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Orson Scott Card’s Magic Street

In his previous novels, Orson Scott Card seems to have dealt with either the (far) future or the (mythic) past. Magic Street is set squarely in the here-and-now — sort of. Baldwin Hills is a black, middle-class neighborhood in Los … Continue reading

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Jane Lindskold’s Child of a Rainless Year

Jane Lindskold is one of the more adventurous authors working in the mode of speculative fiction. From her transparent contributions to Roger Zelazny’s last two books through the contemporary urban fantasy of the athanor novels through the more-or-less “classic” fantasy … Continue reading

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Patricia A. McKillip’s Solstice Wood

It seems somewhat odd, on reflection, to realize that in a genre that so often uses magic as a metaphor and/or device, so few writers actually evoke the qualities of magic in their writing. That observation is prompted by Patricia … Continue reading

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Charles de Lint’s The Wind In His Heart

The Wind in His Heart is Charles de Lint’s first adult novel in eight years. It was worth waiting for. Usually, one tries to start a review of a book by giving a sense of the set-up, the opening situation, … Continue reading

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Jane Lindskold’s Nine Gates

Ever since their exile from the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice a century ago, the Thirteen Orphans and their descendants have done their best to blend into the cultures of Earth, striving to maintain their bloodlines and protect their … Continue reading

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Jane Lindskold’s Five Odd Honors

Five Odd Honors continues the story begun in Thirteen Orphans and Nine Gates, leading the Orphans and their allies back to the Lands of Smoke and Sacrifice from which they were exiled years before. Five of the Orphans need to … Continue reading

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Charles de Lint’s Jack of Kinrowan novels: Jack the Giant-Killer and Drink Down the Moon

Charles de Lint is known as “the godfather of urban fantasy,” and indeed, it’s in that genre that he’s made his mark – he’s never been a writer of heroic fantasy: in a better than thirty year career, very few … Continue reading

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Charles de Lint’s The Hour Before Dawn and Two Other Stories from Newford

This volume was my first encounter with Charles de Lint’s Newford. Strangely enough, these works, particularly the title story, remind me very strongly of some of Jonathan Lethem’s stories, and I couldn’t begin to say why. De Lint’s stories are … Continue reading

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Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot

Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot is another collection of Newford stories, rather different in feel than those in The Ivory and the Horn. While that collection leaned more toward the “ghost stories” category, this one is much more inclined toward … Continue reading

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Tanya Huff’s The Future Falls

The Future Falls continues the saga of the Gale family, begun in The Enchantment Emporium and continued in The Wild Ways. The Gales are not your normal family, although certainly given to family politics and rivalries, with a few interesting … Continue reading

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Charles de Lint’s Moonheart

Moonheart may very well be the first novel by Charles de Lint that I ever read. I can’t really say for sure — it’s been awhile. It certainly is one that I reread periodically, a fixture on my “reread often” … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Hand’s Black Light

Elizabeth Hand’s Black Light is a foray into the world of dark gods, misty legends, and deep secrets. Lit Moylan (her real name is Charlotte) is about to finish high school. She lives with her parents in Kamensic, New York, a village … Continue reading

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Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales

I may have mentioned, once or twice, that I generally avoid “theme” anthologies. This holds true more for poetry collections than short fiction, simply because my experience with the former has been overwhelmingly horrific. I’ve had to revise that stance … Continue reading

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Tanya Huff’s The Wild Ways

“For want of a nail, a shoe was lost. . . .” — William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Richard III. Remember that — it’s going to be important. The Wild Ways is the second of Tanya Huff’s stories of … Continue reading

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Tim Pratt’s The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl 

It shouldn’t surprise you that I am a rather finicky reader given how much fiction I get a chance to sample. I have been known to read the beginnings of a half dozen novels without finding one that is of … Continue reading

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Alma Alexander’s 2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens

December 20th, 2012. The end of the world, some might say. Five friends meet up twenty years after college, at Spanish Gardens, an old and favorite gathering spot. Olivia. John. Quincey. Ellen. Simon. Over Irish Coffees, they’ll hash out old … Continue reading

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Kelley Armstrong, Brazen

Billed as a manhunt (for certain values of “man”), Brazen is really a character piece. Officially labeled volume 13.1 in author Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Underworld series, it focuses on the thus-far underwhelming Nick as its main protagonist. Handsome … Continue reading

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