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Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy…
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Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy (edition 2005)

by Andrew M. Greeley (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
341577,591 (3.51)7
Mythology and magic come alive in this collection of Irish fantasy stories by some of today's finest authors.Ireland is a nation that holds fast to its history and heritage, and nowhere is that more true than in its folktales and legends. From the great Celtic myths featuring the bard Taliesin, the terrible Morrigan, the heroic Cuchulain, or the noble and cunning Sidhe to strange and mysterious tales of today, the stories and traditions of the Emerald Isle hold a strong attraction for many. Stories are told in cottage hearths from Galway to Dublin, and from the windblown rocky Cliffs of Mohr to the seaside villages where fishing boats still roam the oceans. Tall tales and town stories are as much a way of life as a pint and good conversation at the local pub.Emerald Magic brings together today's best fantasy authors to explore the myths of the Irish, telling their own versions of these ancient tales of luck, love, and honor, or drawing upon centuries of Irish myths and folktales and updating them into brand-new stories. Edited and with an introduction by bestselling author Father Andrew M. Greeley, Emerald Magic contains fourteen wonderful stories of legend and lore, including:"A Woman Is a Fast Moving Picnic" by Ray Bradbury. A group of pub regulars set out to discover the truth behind a local song and answer that age-old question: Just how fast does a person sink in a bog?"The Isle of Women" by Jacqueline Carey. In an age long ago, a warrior sailing for vengeance happens upon an island ruled by a woman like no other. But if he is to continue his quest, he must choose between her and his duty."Speir-Bhan" by Tanith Lee. A woman who finds and reads her grandfather's diary unleashes the specter of an old debt that, even in today's modern age, must bepaid---one way or the other."A Drop of Something Special in the Blood" by Fred Saberhagen. In the late eighteenth century, an Irish author encounters a being that he will turn into his greatest literary creation."The Cat with No Name" by Morgan Llywelyn. A lonely girl neglected by her parents finds an unexpected friend in the alley behind her home---one that may be more than it first seems."The Butter-Spirit's Tithe" by Charles de Lint. Even in twenty-first-century America, it is still not wise to anger the spirits of the world, as a young musician discovers when a butter-spirit who had cursed him nine years earlier comes to claim his soul."Land of Heart's Desire" by Elizabeth Haydon. A young man discovers the magical truth about his parents' marriage, and sets a chain of events in motion that will force him to choose between the life he has always known---and another life he could have."The Swan Pilot" by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. In the far future, spaceship pilots travel through interdimensional portals from planet to planet---and the only thing more important than knowing how to fly is knowing how to handle the strange hallucinations that appear during the journey.Filled with the spirit and magic of the stories of Ireland, Emerald Magic is a collection of fantasy stories that will delight and captivate from the first page to the last.… (more)
Member:SheenaLaun
Title:Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy
Authors:Andrew M. Greeley (Author)
Info:Tor Fantasy (2005), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
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Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy by Andrew Greeley (Editor)

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
In truth, I've only read Herself from this book - it was free from Diane Duane's site - and it rocked socks. So, tagging this book because I can't find a source anywhere else, and am unclear if adding a new record for the story would be ideal. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
I read this book several years ago. I found it rather bland and the stories rather similar. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
Another book I'm clearing for my upcoming move. A lot of name writers doesn't really amount to much in this collection, in which the stories suffer from unimaginative plots (Elizabeth Haydon's "Long the Clouds are Over Me Tonight", "A Drop of Something Special in the Blood" by Fred Saberhagen), staid execution (Diane Duane's "Herself"), or the biggest curse of novel writers tasked to writing short stories: half-baked-ness (“The Swan Pilot” by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.,"Speir-Bhan" by Tanith Lee).

The execeptions are:
"Banshee" by Ray Bradbury- a tight, chilling piece about a put-upon screenwriter which uses an unreliable narrator to blend the lines between supernatural and human darkness.
"The Butter Spirit's Tithe" by Charles de Lint- an update of your usual fairy hex that brings New World charm and comteporary charm to an old plot. ( )
1 vote kaionvin | Aug 17, 2011 |
Overall an engaging read about Irish fantasy that left me fascinated with Irish folklore and culture. I particularly enjoyed "Speir-Bhan" by Tanith Lee, "The Butter Spirit's Tithe" by Charles de Lint, "For the Blood Is the Life" by Peter Tremayne, and "The Isle of Women" by Jacqueline Carey. ( )
  thioviolight | Apr 12, 2009 |
http://nhw.livejournal.com/347467.html

Collection of fifteen fantasy stories set in Ireland, thirteen of them published here for the first time.

The authors are a stellar array: Diane Duane, Tanith Lee, Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple, Judith Tarr, Elizabeth Haydon, Charles de Lint, Ray Bradbury, Andrew M. Greeley himself, Jane Lindskold, Fred Saberhagen, Peter Tremayne, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Jacqueline Carey and Morgan Llywelyn.

All of these are competent enough, but few really grabbed me. Most of them are either cut-n-paste from Celtic mist themes (merrows; the wee folk; a rather pedestrian retelling of the Oisin legend) or else simply transplant well-worn fantasy tropes into an Irish setting (a couple of vampire stories, one including Bram Stoker; a little girl with a ghost kitten).

My expectations may be too high. Being Irish myself, I hoped this collection might be of stories that didn't drip too much of Celtic mist, and didn't equate being Irish with being funny. I tend to sympathise with the heroine of Charles de Lint's "The Butter-Spirit's Tithe", who is chided for her lack of fervent Celtiosity by the narrator:

I shrugged. "I don't know. It just seems that for a woman born in Ireland, who makes her living playing Celtic music, you don't care much for your own traditions."

"What traditions? I like a good Guinness and play the dance tunes on my box - those are traditions I can appreciate. I can even enjoy a good game of football, if I'm in the mood, which isn't bloody often. What I don't like is hen people get into all that mystical shite." She laughed, but without a lot of humour. "And I don't know which is worse, the wanna-be Celts or those who think they were born to pass on the great Secret Traditions."


Of course, this being a Charles de Lint story in this particular anthology, she is in fact drawn into the "mystical shite" in one of the three particularly grabbing stories of the anthology. And of course, I too am susceptible to well-told stories in this genre; it's just that my demands of the authors are probably higher than the book's target readership.

On of the two other standout stories for me was Jacqueline Carey's "The Isle of Women", an episode from the Mael Duin saga, but told for a change from the point of view of the women, in Carey's typically sexy prose (though she tones it down here compared with her novels). I'll pretty much buy anything with her name on it these days.

The other great story was the very first, "Herself", by Diane Duane. I happened to catch the end of the story when the author read it at P-Con back in 2003, and was delighted to recognise it immediately. Rooted very much in the reality of 21st century Dublin, but the leprechauns etc are still trying to eke out a living in today's world; threatened, quite literally, by the Celtic Tiger. A hilarious bit of satire, which will have completely mystified those readers who only know Ireland from folk music and cinema. ( )
1 vote nwhyte | Jan 18, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greeley, AndrewEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, RayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carey, JacquelineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dart-Thornton, CeciliaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Lint, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duane, DianeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haydon, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, TanithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindskold, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Llywelyn, MorganContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Modesitt Jr., L. E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saberhagen, FredContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stemple, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tarr, JudithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tremayne, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yolen, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Mythology and magic come alive in this collection of Irish fantasy stories by some of today's finest authors.Ireland is a nation that holds fast to its history and heritage, and nowhere is that more true than in its folktales and legends. From the great Celtic myths featuring the bard Taliesin, the terrible Morrigan, the heroic Cuchulain, or the noble and cunning Sidhe to strange and mysterious tales of today, the stories and traditions of the Emerald Isle hold a strong attraction for many. Stories are told in cottage hearths from Galway to Dublin, and from the windblown rocky Cliffs of Mohr to the seaside villages where fishing boats still roam the oceans. Tall tales and town stories are as much a way of life as a pint and good conversation at the local pub.Emerald Magic brings together today's best fantasy authors to explore the myths of the Irish, telling their own versions of these ancient tales of luck, love, and honor, or drawing upon centuries of Irish myths and folktales and updating them into brand-new stories. Edited and with an introduction by bestselling author Father Andrew M. Greeley, Emerald Magic contains fourteen wonderful stories of legend and lore, including:"A Woman Is a Fast Moving Picnic" by Ray Bradbury. A group of pub regulars set out to discover the truth behind a local song and answer that age-old question: Just how fast does a person sink in a bog?"The Isle of Women" by Jacqueline Carey. In an age long ago, a warrior sailing for vengeance happens upon an island ruled by a woman like no other. But if he is to continue his quest, he must choose between her and his duty."Speir-Bhan" by Tanith Lee. A woman who finds and reads her grandfather's diary unleashes the specter of an old debt that, even in today's modern age, must bepaid---one way or the other."A Drop of Something Special in the Blood" by Fred Saberhagen. In the late eighteenth century, an Irish author encounters a being that he will turn into his greatest literary creation."The Cat with No Name" by Morgan Llywelyn. A lonely girl neglected by her parents finds an unexpected friend in the alley behind her home---one that may be more than it first seems."The Butter-Spirit's Tithe" by Charles de Lint. Even in twenty-first-century America, it is still not wise to anger the spirits of the world, as a young musician discovers when a butter-spirit who had cursed him nine years earlier comes to claim his soul."Land of Heart's Desire" by Elizabeth Haydon. A young man discovers the magical truth about his parents' marriage, and sets a chain of events in motion that will force him to choose between the life he has always known---and another life he could have."The Swan Pilot" by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. In the far future, spaceship pilots travel through interdimensional portals from planet to planet---and the only thing more important than knowing how to fly is knowing how to handle the strange hallucinations that appear during the journey.Filled with the spirit and magic of the stories of Ireland, Emerald Magic is a collection of fantasy stories that will delight and captivate from the first page to the last.

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Book description
Anthology contains:
  • Herself / Diane Duane
  • Speir-Bhan / Tanith Lee
  • Troubles / Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple
  • The Hermit and the Sidhe / Judith Tarr
  • The Merrow / Elizabeth Haydon
  • The Butter Spirit's Tithe / Charles De Lint
  • Banshee / Ray Bradbury
  • Peace in Heaven? / Andrew M. Greeley
  • The Lady in Grey / Jane Lindskold
  • A Drop of Something Special in the Blood / Fred Saberhagen
  • For the Blood is the Life / Peter Tremayne
  • Long the Clouds are Over Me Tonight / Cecilia Dart-Thornton
  • The Swan Pilot / L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
  • The Isle of Women / Jacqueline Carey
  • The Cat with No Name / Morgan Llywelyn
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