A fantasy medley 3

A fantasy medley 3 Book Cover A fantasy medley 3
Fantasy medley #3 (no continuity)
Kevin Hearne, Laura Bickle, Aliette de Bodard, Jacqueline Carey
Fantasy, short stories
Subterranean Press
Dec 31 2015

A medley in which the reader visits a handful of established fantasy universes.

In the first story, "Goddess of the crossroads", Kevin Hearne invites us into the world of his Iron Druid series, which I have not yet read.  Here, we get a story featuring Shakespeare in his own time, a bunch of witches, and a nice display of what I have to assume is how the magic works in this particular world.  I enjoyed the voice and telling of the story, and probably will seek out these books when I need a new series-thing to read.

Second story, "Ashes", appears to be an origin story for Laura Bickle's series about Anya Kalinczyk and her salamander familiar. Anya is a rare kind of medium, and turns out to have other peculiar qualities, but her day job is with the Detroit fire department.   In this story, she's hunting for the Nain Rouge,  which I had never previously heard of, but wikipedia confirms: This is actually a thing.  The Nain Rouge, "Red dwarf", is a Detroit urban legend in a "harbinger of doom" kind of way, and just as in the story, there are related parades and whatnot.  The more you know!

Do I feel like spending more time with Anya and Sparky the salamander? Maybe not immediately - I didn't feel like she could knock out my existing queue of "urban fantasy protagonists punching things in book series"-stuff.

The third story is by Aliette de Bodard, and "The death of Aiguillon" takes place some sixty years prior to the events of the novel The house of shattered wings.  This is a world I know and enjoy already, and it centres on a couple of the characters I was most fascinated by in the novel.  Awesome!  But would I like it quite as much if I didn't already have larger context for the characters and events?   Probably not - but I suspect that's true of all the three first stories in A fantasy medley 3.

The fourth and last story, however, is a standalone:  Jacqueline Carey's "One hundred ablutions".  I've never read this author before, though I have been sort-of meaning to.  I really liked this story about a subjugated desert people and the mysterious people who rule over them - it lingers on, weeks after reading.

I think this collection is most of all a special interest piece for fans of one or more of the universes represented - which is a-okay.   (I really do respect that - as a specially interested fan myself, it is proving very hard to get my hands on A fantasy medley 2 and its stories..!)


It’s quiet here lately – sort of dusty, even – and I’m late with several review posts. Sorry about that.  I’ve been hibernating. Possibly, I still am.   I just saw the first part of SyFy’s Childhood’s End,  did you? I read the book a few years ago and was mostly just grateful it was less horrendously boring than Rendezvous with Rama.  Anyway.

Childhood’s end is a perfect daydream. It begins with the not-so-optimistic idea that humankind is stupid and aggressive and too entangled in their own history of petulant shit to ever be able to fix itself.  But then somebody else comes along and fixes it for us.

I mean, just taste that idea.  I find it pretty soothing even inbetween all the scenes in which I wonder why they had to cast O’Brien in the thing. (As a character who remarkably resembles, exactly, O’Brien when the ST:TNG/DS9 writers decided continuity did not exist and they needed a dumb guy to be pig-headed about something or other. )

Uh, well.  It’s kinda yuletidey these days? Everything I eat smells like gingerbread.  It’s lovely.