Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Persy -- Wednesday Scrolls

Hey, guys, guess who's back! Me!

Yeah, anyway. You may have noticed how Arty has been doing all the reviews the past few weeks, and the reason for that is that I was out of the country and didn't have any time to read a book, much less write a review of it. I was in Ireland for two and half weeks. Yep, Ireland. Frolicking in the hills and eating jelly babies.

But that's all beside the point. I only managed to read two books over two weeks (lame, I know), and one of those was a manga, so it doesn't really count. The other was Faeries, an anthology edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh. When I first found this book for three dollars at a bookstore, I nearly had a heart attack because I never knew Isaac Asimov did fantasy, but he does. This obscure anthology contains eighteen stories about the fair folk, one of which written by Isaac Asimov himself. What better book to read while in Ireland?

So this Wednesday Scrolls is kind of a review, but it's on Wednesday and it's kind of about Ireland too, so it's a Wednesday Scrolls. I'll just be going over (very briefly, in some cases) each story in the anthology, and hopefully it won't be terribly long...

#1. How The Fairies Came to Ireland by Herminie Templeton. Once you get over the spelling (made out to sound like an Irish accent, and believe me, it does), it's a pretty cool little story about how the fairies ended up on Earth.

#2. The Manor of Roses by Thomas Burnett Swann. This one is incredibly long, and I'm not a great fan of long short stories (key word being short), but it's still interesting and well written.

#3. The Fairy Prince by H.C. Bailey. Didn't like this. It seems very pointless and disconnected.

#4. The Ugly Unicorn by Jessica Amanda Salmonson. This is definitely one of my favorites. It's about a beast called a Liu-mu, which is kind of like a very ugly unicorn, and a beautiful blind princess.

#5. The Brownie of the Black Haggs by James Hogg. Good story, but not amazing. Not incredibly memorable.

#6. The Dream of Akinosuké by Lafadio Hearn. Also fun, but very...odd.

#7. Elfinland by Johann Ludwig Tieck. Didn't like this one. Not sure how to say it, but it just isn't interesting.

#8. Darby O'Gill and the Good People by Herminie Templeton. Again, you have to get used to her way of spelling, but I don't like this one as much as her first story.

#9. No Man's Land by John Buchan. This one is also really long, so I mostly just wanted to get it over with. Main character's a bit of an idiot, and the whole story reads kind of like H.P. Lovecraft, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but...

#10. The Prism by Mary E. Wilkins. I liked this one in the beginning, but the ending is very disappointing.

#11. The Kith of the Elf-Folk by Lord Dunsany. Love this one. It's sweet and sad and beautiful all mixed into one.

#12. The Secret Place by Richard McKenna. This one is just weird. Not really sure what to say about it, except that I don't like the characters.

#13. The King of the Elves by Philip K. Dick. Yep, Philip K. Dick does fantasy too! And he does it well. While this wasn't one of my favorite stories, I still love Dick's writing style.

#14. Flying Pan by Robert F. Young. Love this one too. It was funny and cool, and just made me laugh and think, man, aren't fairies awesome...

#15. My Father, the Cat by Henry Slesar. The title made me excited, but the story was weird in a bad way and uninteresting.

#16. Kid Stuff by Isaac Asimov. Of course this one is good, it's Isaac Asimov!

#17. The Long Night of Waiting by Andre Norton. Good, but not my favorite. It felt a little cluttered, somehow.

#18. The Queen of Air and Darkness by Poul Anderson. It's good, but it's also...meh. It's a weird mix of science fiction and fantasy, and I don't think he quite pulls it off.

So there you go. Definitely worth reading for those few good stories, but feel free to skip over some of the more tedious ones. In that way, it's just like every other anthology out there: a few gems, some interesting rocks, and a lot of dirt.


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