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The Flying Sorcerers
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The Flying Sorcerers (original 1997; edition 1998)

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429337,273 (3.52)1
Member:mishmelle
Title:The Flying Sorcerers
Authors:
Info:Ace Books (1998), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:anthologies, comic fantasy

Work details

Flying Sorcerers: More Comic Tales of Fantasy by Peter Haining (Editor) (1997)

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Not funny.

Ok well, it's slightly funny sometimes. But basically these are not the best offerings of any of the writers selected, many of whom are otherwise really well known for either their humour or the quality of their writing. Even the tery Pratchett story isn't funny. This is perhaps the key point, some of these are very good short stories but they aren't funny. Not even slightly comic. They are examples of fantasy and SF short stories broadly divided into Fantasy, Supernatural and SF. Each story is introduced by P Haining, a very brief bio of the author and some of their key works followed by an almost spoiler of the short story, adn then the story itself. Not one of Haining introductions was interesting, informative, funny or otherwise worth reading.

There are 24 stories in the book which ar 383 pages makes many of them quite short indeed. Some have appeared in other collections but many were totally new to me. And make a very good introduction into the works of some authors I didn't know, but will have to follow up. Of particular note:
The adventure of the Martian moons, a Sherlock holmes pastiche set on mars with a robo-sherlock; Specialist by Robert Sheckly on the variety of aliens; A good Shellacking by Stanislaw Lem - always a favourite author, this is a neat competition betwen two inventors; Possible to Rue by Piers Anthony - dictonary related puns.

Overall though, it fails in its tated purpose of being a collection of comic fantasy - at least half isn't fantasy at all, and probably less than half is actually comic. ( )
3 vote reading_fox | May 20, 2009 |
This is the second collection of short stories edited by Peter Haining. I enjoyed it very much - the stories themselves are great, but I enjoyed the brief introductory comments just as much. The editor gives us a lightning resume of the authors life and other works and the odd entertaining anecdote too. He also briefly puts the story into the context of the development of the genre.

A great way to broaden your list of "authors I buy".
I have now put the first of these books (The Wizards of Odd) on my wish list. ( )
  psiloiordinary | Oct 22, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haining, PeterEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anthony, PiersContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloch, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bond, NelsonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, FredricContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carter, AngelaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke, Arthur C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Collier, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dahl, RoaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
De Camp, L. SpragueContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Disch, Thomas M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrison, HarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knight, EricContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leacock, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lem, StanislawContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, C. S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moorcock, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nolan, William F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peake, MervynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pratchett, TerryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pratt, FletcherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sheckley, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, CordwainerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vonnegut, KurtContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wodehouse. P. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wyndham, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Horváth, NorbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szabó, KataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szántai, ZsoltTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
So full of shapes is fancy,
That it alone is high fantastical.

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Dedication
First words
Thirty years ago I first saw a memorable cartoon by Gahan Wilson, the American fantasy artist, whose jokes give expression to his macabre and wicked sense of humour.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Introduction -- 1. Hordes of the things : comic fantasies: Turntables of the night / by Terry Pratchett ; Slice of life / by P.G. Wodehouse ; Better mousetrap / by L. Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt ; Sam Small's better half / by Eric Knight ; Danse macabre / by Mervyn Peake ; Shoddy lands / C.S. Lewis ; Harrison Bergeron / by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ; Possible to rue / by Piers Anthony -- 2. Deadly nightshapes : tales of the supernatural: Right side / by John Collier ; Nasty / by Frederic Brown ; Gripes of wraith / by Nelson Bond ; Roaches / by Thomas M. Disch ; Lady of the house of love / by Angela Carter ; Stone thing / by Michael Moorcock ; Shrink and the mink / by Robert Bloch ' Ah sweet mystery of life / by Roald Dahl -- 3. Vacant space : stories of science fiction: Man in asbestos / by Stephen Leacock ; Female of the species / by John Wyndham ; Good shellacking / by Stanislaw Lem ; From Gustible's planet / by Cordwainer Smith ; Specialist / by Robert Sheckley ; Adventure of the Martian moons / by William F. Nolan ; Golden years of the stainless steel rat / by Harry Harrison ; No morning after / by Arthur C. Clarke.
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Book description
The Hungarian translation of The Flying Sorcerers, an anthology of stories from authors such as Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, Stanislaw Lem, etc.

CONTENTS -
Introduction -- 1. Hordes of the things : comic fantasies: Turntables of the night / by Terry Pratchett ; Slice of life / by P.G. Wodehouse ; Better mousetrap / by L. Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt ; Sam Small's better half / by Eric Knight ; Danse macabre / by Mervyn Peake ; Shoddy lands / C.S. Lewis ; Harrison Bergeron / by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ; Possible to rue / by Piers Anthony -- 2. Deadly nightshapes : tales of the supernatural: Right side / by John Collier ; Nasty / by Frederic Brown ; Gripes of wraith / by Nelson Bond ; Roaches / by Thomas M. Disch ; Lady of the house of love / by Angela Carter ; Stone thing / by Michael Moorcock ; Shrink and the mink / by Robert Bloch ' Ah sweet mystery of life / by Roald Dahl -- 3. Vacant space : stories of science fiction: Man in asbestos / by Stephen Leacock ; Female of the species / by John Wyndham ; Good shellacking / by Stanislaw Lem ; From Gustible's planet / by Cordwainer Smith ; Specialist / by Robert Sheckley ; Adventure of the Martian moons / by William F. Nolan ; Golden years of the stainless steel rat / by Harry Harrison ; No morning after / by Arthur C. Clarke.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441005772, Mass Market Paperback)

Fantasy fiction has a long and honorable history of parodying its own traditions and, in The Flying Sorcerers, Peter Haining has collected a wide range of comic fiction from the genres of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. The 24 stories span the century, from P.G. Wodehouse's hilarious "A Slice of Life," about the inventor Wilfred Mulliner and the dastardly baronet Sir Jasper ffinch-ffarrowmere, through the likes of C.S. Lewis, Kurt Vonnegut, and Mervyn Peake to stories by more recent favorites such as Roald Dahl and, of course, Terry Pratchett, whose story "Turntables of the Night," featuring DEATH, opens the collection.

The stories range from Michael Moorcock's hilarious spoof of heroic fantasy, "The Stone Thing," to more considered twists on conventional themes, as in Angela Carter's story of a reluctant vampire, "The Lady of the House of Love." Arthur C. Clarke even manages to find humor in the end of the world with the closing story "No Morning After."

Haining introduces each story with a brief but informative biography of the writer. This makes the collection an excellent introduction to the wide range of comic fantasy and science fiction writing produced this century. --Elizabeth Sourbut

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

This sparkling sequel to WIZARDS OF ODD once again turns logic on its head with a galaxy of star writers and stories. Terry Pratchett, the arch-priest of the genre, leads off with the eccentric figure of DEATH on new and curious mission, Roald Dahl plays havoc with country superstition, and Arthur C. Clarke shows the funny side of cosmic doom. Add to these dazzling contributions from masters such as Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Angela Carter, C.S. Lewis, P.G. Wodehouse and Michael Moorcock, and you have a blend of comic fantasy, supernatural extravaganza and sf that is almost literally in orbit. The title of the book stems from the fact that many of the stories feature characters who can fly - either under their own power or by machines - or they simply run into trouble with aerial objects of one sort or another. Bringing together some of the best fantasy available, THE FLYING SORCERERS is a gloriously bizarre, wonderfully varied collection of stories.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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