Monday, January 07, 2008

Book Review: Salon Fantastique edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free book reviews.

I'm a big fan of the thematic anthologies of Datlow and Windling but Salon Fantastique breaks the mold with its anything-goes short stories. What you get is a set of impressive stories and perhaps the only complaint I have is that a couple of these stories make their way into the annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology--not that they don't deserve to be there but rather there's less surprise at finding a story I haven't read. The book starts out with an impressive story, "La Fee Verte" by Delia Sherman in which the relationship of the two protagonists is as mystical as the actual events that transpired. Another favorite story of mine is "The Guardian of the Egg" by Christopher Barzak wherein we are treated to a coming-of-age story of sorts and Barzak manages to capture the tone of youth and discovery. "Femaville 29" by Paul Di Filippo is this story that is both fantastic and tragic while capable of ensnaring even readers who favor realism over the magical. To round-up my favorite stories in this collection is "The Mask of '67" by David Prill wherein I was just entranced by the romance but at the same time just that right amount of creepiness. It's really a great collection of short stories, especially if you're the type that likes your fantasy without sword & sorcery. Highly recommended to those who like reading literary fantasy while casual readers will be entranced by these short stories.

Rating: 4/5.

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