Review: The New Voices of Fantasy edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman

The New Voices of Fantasy ed. by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman.

Title:  The New Voices of Fantasy
Editors: Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman
Genre: Anthology, Fantasy, Short stories
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Tachyon Publications (7th September 2017)
Blurb:

Eugene Fisher, Brooke Bolander, Amal El-Mohtar, Maria Dahvana Headley, Max Gladstone, Ben Loory, Carmen Maria Machado, Usman T. Malik, Sarah Pinsker, Hannu Rajaniemi, Adam Ehrlich Sachs, Sofia Samatar, Kelly Sandoval, Chris Tarry, A. C. Wise, Alyssa Wong, JY Yang, E. Lily Yu

What would you do if a tornado wanted you to be its Valentine? Or if a haunted spacesuit banged on your door? When is the ideal time to turn into a tiger? Would you post a supernatural portal on Craigslist?

In these nineteen stories, the enfants terribles of fantasy have entered the building—a love-starved, ambulatory skyscraper. The New Voices of Fantasy tethers some of the fastest-rising talents of the last five years. Their tales were hand-picked by the legendary Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) and genre expert Jacob Weisman (The Treasury of the Fantastic).

So go ahead, join the Communist revolution of the honeybees. The new kids got your back.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman is an anthology that collects together nineteen short stories from up and coming writers in the fantasy genre. The collection includes several award winners and whilst most of the stories have appeared in other collections there is an original addition. In this anthology Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman bring together a wide selection of talent, with a broad range of topics – there is something for everyone in this collection – to create a stunning collection that will just draw you in. A perfect way to find new writers in the fantasy genre.

I was intrigued when I got an email about THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY, as the fantasy genre is one of my favourite genres to read in. It took me a while to get to it, but I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to read this anthology. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed most of the stories in this collection, and the ones that weren’t for me I thought were quite interesting reads regardless. I really enjoyed the fact that all nineteen stories were different and didn’t follow a theme, although I read the anthology straight through I do think it would be a great book to dip in and out of depending on your mood. The stories are either in the first or third person which I enjoyed.

Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong is an unexpected disturbing and creepy story with a Japanese vibe I think. Selkie Stories are for Losers by Sofia Samatar has a definite fairy story feel to it, and I don’t mean Disney’s versions. Tornado’s Siren by Brooke Bolander is a love story with a twist. Left the Century to Sit Unmoved by Sarah Pinsker is an urban fairy tale that feels so real. A Kiss with Teeth by Max Gladstone is perfect for fans of the vampire genre that wonder what happens next. It’s one of my favourite stories in the anthology.

Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon has a very definite Native American fable feel to the story, which is probably obvious because of the title. The Cartographer Wasps and Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu is not really my cup of tea, but I do think Yu explores an interesting premise in the story and that it is really well written. The Practical Witch’s Guide to Acquiring Real Estate by A. C. Wise reads like an actual how-to book but with a fantastical twist. The Tallest Doll in New York City by Maria Dahvana Headley is one of the more surreal entries in this anthology, with a very definite New York voice (or what I imagine a New York voice is anyway).

The Haunting of Apollo A7LB by Hanu Rajaniemi is creepy and hopeful, and great for fans of space. Here Be Dragons by Chris Tarry is a story about responsibility and its subject matter could be triggering for some people, so approach with care. The One They Took Before by Kelly Sandoval is possibly my favourite story in the collection, I really enjoyed it. It’s perfect for fans of stories about the fair folk. Tiger Baby by JY Yang wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it and I think it’s really interesting. The Duck by Ben Loory is a wonderfully odd addition to the anthology.

Wing by Amal El-Mohtar is a story about stories and, in my opinion, a little odd. The Philosophers by Adam Ehrlich Sachs is a little different to the rest of the collection, it’s actually a series of stories about fathers and sons. My Time Among the Bridge Blowers by Eugene Fischer is a cautionary tale that wasn’t really my cup of tea. The Husband Stich by Carmen Maria Machado has a very different vibe to it. The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn by Usman T. Malik is another of my favourite stories in this anthology. It has the feel of a modern day Arabian Night tale.

THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY starts with two entries from the editors. The first is an introduction by Jacob Weisman and serves as a summary of the anthology and a bit about why he and Beagle selected the stories. The second is by Peter S, Beagle and he talks about what got him into the fantasy genre, how the genre is changed, and what it’s like to be a fantasy author. I thought this was an interesting and insightful piece and well worth a read. I think Beagle and Weisman did a good job and created an interesting and balanced collection of stories that cover a lot of different voices. It’s definitely one for fans of the fantasy genre to add to their collection.

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