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A Century of Fantasy, 1980-1989 by Robert…

A Century of Fantasy, 1980-1989

by Robert Silverberg

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Robert Silverburg's anthology "A Century of Fantasy" is a very readable, but also very uneven collection of fantasy short stories.

Intriguingly, many of the stories are by authors best known for science fiction, rather than fantasy--Alan Dean Foster, Harlan Ellison, Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven. Fantasy stalwarts also round out the group, such as Ursula K LeGuin, Charles de Lint, and George R.R. Martin.

Several of the stories are quite evocative, such as "Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight," "The Unicorn Masque," and "The Boy Who Plaited Manes." Others feel outdated, such as "The Dowry of the Rag Picker's Daughter." My personal favorite, "The Edge of the World," leaps ahead of the others in its ability to create a fully realized world in just a few pages.

The best way I have to judge the entire anthology is by the stories that I remember, and those that I would read again. There are some that I will go back to and others that I will not. I rate the anthology more positively specifically because if I had the opportunity, I would buy others in the series.

Sadly, there aren't any. Although there are volumes for science fiction, mystery, and horror, no other decade of fantasy was ever assembled. The fact that I'm sorry about that made me bump up my rating from three stars to four. ( )
  shabacus | Jan 20, 2012 |
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