Peter S. Beagle, "The Secret History of Fantasy"
2010 | ISBN-10: 1892391996 | PDF | 432 pages | 4 MB
Beagle proves that he is as good an editor as he is a writer, with this anthology of modern fantasy short fiction. All 17 stories eschew all or most of the conventions of commercial fantasy (defined as beginning with Terry Brooks'Sword of Shannara, 1983). Much of this is due to the fact that the 5,000-word quest tale is a form not yet perfected (as Lynn Abbey pointed out some years ago). But it is also due to the limited number of authors who can draw on the traditional mythic and folkloric roots of fantasy as a defense against a dark world, and arrange the results in a form intelligible to modern readers. Stephen King and T. C. Boyle have done it here; so have the late Octavia Butler, Terry Bisson, Robert Holdstock (of the classic Mythago Universe), Jonathan Lethen (a master of darkness), Patricia McKillip (with perhaps the broadest range among contemporary fantasists), and Francesca Lia Block (undeservedly obscure). Start reading and expect to enjoy
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