Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and…

Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness

by Mike Allen (Editor)

Other authors: Laird Barron (Contributor), Deborah Biancotti (Contributor), Leah Bobet (Contributor), Marie Brennan (Contributor), Jennifer Crow (Contributor)13 more, Michael J. DeLuca (Contributor), Joanna Galbraith (Contributor), John Grant (Contributor), Erin Hoffman (Contributor), Tanith Lee (Contributor), C. S. MacCath (Contributor), Cat Rambo (Contributor), David Sandner (Contributor), Ekaterina Sedia (Contributor), Vandana Singh (Contributor), Cat Sparks (Contributor), Catherynne M. Valente (Contributor), John C. Wright (Contributor)

Series: Clockwork Phoenix (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
875138,736 (3.56)4

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
"Tales of Beauty and Strangeness" is a perfect subtitle for this book, because it sums it up admirably. All of the stories are strange and beautiful in varying degrees: the first couple made me wonder if I was going to regret buying the three Clockwork Phoenix collections -- the first story is Catherynne M. Valente's, and it's very characteristic of her: too much so, in fact, like a distillation of all the richness of her writing into a morass.

But, happily, as I got further into the collection, I settled into it a lot more, and I was pretty happy with most of the stories. I think my favourite was Marie Brennan's "A Mask of Flesh", but as a collection, they're all good. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Mike Allen's collection of oddities by authors both known and unknown came highly recommended to me, since it's right up my alley. I tend to be leery of shorts/ anthologies though. It's a lot harder to get twenty stories right than it is to just get one, in my opinion.

Allen does a nice job of picking stories that deliver- at least in mood if not always other areas. All of the stories of this anthology have something to recommend them to readers of my admittedly eclectic tastes. I also found it interesting that the one person who seemed to agree with my choices regarding the best stories in this anthology is the person who recommended it to me in the first place; other reviewers seem to have disagreed. So, a few words on the ones I liked most and why:

- All the Little Gods We Are- This is the kind of bittersweet I like in my fiction, and the premise, while having been done before, is beautifully pulled off by the author.
- Oblivion by Vandana Singh- What I liked most about this story was the sheer amount of information I received about the universe, a sort of science fantasy type deal heavily influenced by Indian culture, while enjoying a well-told and complex plot.
- The Woman by Tanith Lee- This went well with the previous books I've read this last month, with a slight dystopian flare and a tinge of sadness at the edges.

I would recommend this to anyone with a similar library to mine, especially if you like lyrical or strange prose and characters. ( )
  rebelaessedai | Aug 3, 2011 |
'tales of beauty and strangeness' is right, but it's rather like walking through a literary curio cabinet. I'm just visiting, and strangely untouched. ( )
  storyjunkie | Jul 10, 2010 |
This is one of the better anthologies I've read. The stories are imaginative and often quite thoughtful. My favourites were Leah Bobet's "Bell, Book and Candle", about three people who are tied into a rite, and who do not particularly enjoy this; Vandana Singh's "Oblivion: A Journey", about a person pursuing revenge across a future heavily informed by Indian mythology, mapping their journey to that of Ram in the Ramayan; Joanna Galbraith's "The Moon-Keeper's Friend", about a café owner who protects the moon; Cat Rambo's "The Dew Drop Coffee Lounge"; Catherynne M Valente's "The City of Blind Delight"; Michael J DeLuca's "The Tarrying Messenger", which is about what it means to tarry, and to deliver a message. And I rather liked most of the others, such as those by David Sandner, Marie Brennan, Deborah Biancotti, Ekaterina Sedia and Jennifer Crow.

Very few anthologies have a success rate this high.

One thing I particularly liked about it is the diversity of influences. These stories are not all about North America and Western Europe, and the anthology is considerably strengthened by this fact.

There were some stories I liked less. Rape as a plot device pretty much immediately turns me off a story, and the instance in this anthology was no exception. Tanith Lee's had some distractingly hilarious sexual euphemisms, and the rest of the story didn't particularly engage. Two others were just boring. But I think most of my complaints lie closer to personal preference than indicating weakness with the story; overall, I really enjoyed this anthology, and I recommend it. ( )
1 vote alexdallymacfarlane | Jun 2, 2009 |
Normally, in book reviews, I give you the premise. With short story anthologies, that's a bit trickier, and even reading the whole book doesn't really tell me the idea or theme that gels these tales together. They're mostly fantasy (some are more horror, some have an SF-nal touch), and they're all written well. And as I usually do for anthologies, I'll give each story it's own review (at my journal, that is), and then review the book as a whole at the bottom of the entry.

My Rating

Worth the Cash: of the 18 stories, I really enjoyed 12, and even the ones I wasn't crazy about weren't horrible or anything, but more or less not to my personal taste. I'm surprisingly impressed with the quality of stories and writing in this anthology, and it's an easy book to recommend, especially when you consider my biggest complaints are the cover and the intro, which in the total package, is completely superficial (go me!). My absolute favorites of the book are Grant's, Brennan's, Singh's, and Hoffman's. This book is definitely worth the cash to those readers who enjoy spec-fic shorts, and to those readers who may be tired of the stories offered by the Big Three, especially in regards to fantasy. And this might be random, but I was very impressed with the story order and how the stories sometimes fit together and led into each other. That was very nice. :)

The full review, which does include spoilers for the various stories, may be found at my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.

REVIEW: Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness

Anthology contributors are:

Catherynne M. Valente
David Sandner
John Grant
Cat Rambo
Leah Bobet
Michael J. DeLuca
Laird Barron
Ekaterina Sedia
Cat Sparks
Tanith Lee
Marie Brennan
Jennifer Crow
Vandana Singh
John C. Wright
C.S. MacCath
Joanna Galbraith
Deborah Biancotti
Erin Hoffman ( )
1 vote devilwrites | Oct 14, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Allen, MikeEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barron, LairdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Biancotti, DeborahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bobet, LeahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brennan, MarieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crow, JenniferContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
DeLuca, Michael J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Galbraith, JoannaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grant, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoffman, ErinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, TanithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacCath, C. S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rambo, CatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sandner, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sedia, EkaterinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Singh, VandanaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sparks, CatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Valente, Catherynne M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wright, John C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
28 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.56)
2 3
3 3
4 7
4.5 2
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 117,143,886 books! | Top bar: Always visible