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Imaginary Friends

by John Marco (Editor), Martin Harry Greenberg (Editor)

Other authors: Donald J. Bingle (Contributor), Anne Bishop (Contributor), Kristen Britain (Contributor), Russell Davis (Contributor), Bill Fawcett (Contributor)8 more, Paul Genesse (Contributor), Rick Hautala (Contributor), Jim C. Hines (Contributor), Juliet E. McKenna (Contributor), Fiona Patton (Contributor), Jean Rabe (Contributor), Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Contributor), Tim Waggoner (Contributor)

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496392,535 (3.27)1
In this fun fantasy anthology, readers are given thirteen variations on what kinds of friends come in handy indeed in times of need. From a toy Canadian Mountie who suddenly comes to life, to a boy and his dragon, to a young woman held captive in a tower and the mysterious being who is her only companion, these highly imaginative tales entertainingly explore the nature of what constitutes a "real" friendship.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This was a fairly good selection of short stories with an interesting theme to tie them all together. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book for me was seeing how each author put a different spin on the imaginary friends idea and made it his/her own. Some stories contain the traditional idea of an imaginary friend, some twist it totally around, while still others go on an entirely different track altogether. Stories that stood out the most for me were: A Good Day for Dragons by Rick Hautala, Best Friends Forever by Tim Waggoner, and The Big Exit by Bill Fawcett. Overall, the stories included in this collection are decent, but it's not as strong as "Army of the Fantastic" also edited by John Marco (who I might add also writes a very strong introduction in this book explaining the idea behind the theme of the book.) ( )
  StefanY | Aug 13, 2009 |
I liked some of these stories a lot and thought some of them were just ok; I didn't actively dislike any of them. The writing is consistantly good through all the stories and authors. The unique takes on the idea of the imaginary friend was, for the most part, fascinating. I don't remember ever having an imaginary friend when I was young; it may be that a person who does will see this book in a different way, although very few of the stories have what one traditionally thinks of as a child's imaginary playmate. ( )
1 vote bluesalamanders | May 11, 2009 |
Most short story collections are mix of good and bad, but this one was 40% mediocre and 50% just terrible writing. The last 10% was the idea of the collection itself and the one story I enjoyed. Which wasn't about imaginary friends at all. ( )
  marctic | May 2, 2009 |
I really only liked Anne Bishop's story in this anthology, "Stands a God Within the Shadows." I thought Bishop's story was both a very interesting take on the what-constitutes-imaginary? theme, which pretty much threads the entire anthology, and a very clever reimagining on more familiar story tropes. Four stars for that story.

A couple other stories were cute, but they weren't great: maybe three stars for these. I enjoyed Jean Rabe's "Neither," but, as the story followed closely after Rick Hautala's "A Good Day for Dragons" and both stories had the same twist ending, "Neither" fell a little flat (which is a pity, as I thought Rabe wrote a better take on the twist and should therefore have been placed before Hautala's story within the anthology). I also found Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "Say Hello to My Little Friend" kind of fun, but Rusch's protagonist was pretty one-note and the story itself didn't really go anywhere. (For a much better and far more interesting take on a bartender tale, track down Tanya Huff's "I Knew a Guy Once." It's in both the anthology Space Inc. and Huff's story collection Finding Magic.)

None of the other ten stories held my interest and generally failed to attract it. Two stars for the overall anthology. ( )
  noneofthis | Mar 2, 2009 |
Imaginary friends. It's said we almost all have one when we're children. Some of us may even have them when we're adults. While having one as an adult may be looked at as a sign of madness, at any age, an imaginary friend is often just a way we use to deal with something in our lives. The question tho is are we dealing with it in a good or bad way?

Here's an excellent collection of stories about imaginary friends. As with all imaginary things, you can never be quite sure what's what. These stories look at these "friends" in unique ways, and things aren't always what you may think they are. They may even have you wondering if you need an imaginary friend in your life to help you deal with something. ( )
1 vote rastaphrog | Feb 16, 2009 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marco, JohnEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greenberg, Martin HarryEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bingle, Donald J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bishop, AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Britain, KristenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, RussellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fawcett, BillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Genesse, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hautala, RickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hines, Jim C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKenna, Juliet E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patton, FionaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rabe, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rusch, Kristine KathrynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waggoner, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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In this fun fantasy anthology, readers are given thirteen variations on what kinds of friends come in handy indeed in times of need. From a toy Canadian Mountie who suddenly comes to life, to a boy and his dragon, to a young woman held captive in a tower and the mysterious being who is her only companion, these highly imaginative tales entertainingly explore the nature of what constitutes a "real" friendship.

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