he history of the fantastic Mike Ashley, the editor of The Mammoth Book of Fantasy, obviously prefers a certain type of fantasy classic fantasy tales, based on myth and folklore, in which the narrator's voice is instantly familiar, someone like ourselves or someone we know. Two of the best examples in this new collection are George MacDonald Fraser's "The Golden Key" (1867) and James Blaylock's story, "Nets of Silver and Gold" (1984). In between these two stories we explore heroic fantasy in Lord Dunsany's short and surprising "The Hoard of the Gibbelins," have a look at modern revisionist versions of same (Tanith Lee's "A Hero at the Gates" and Patricia A. McKillip's "Lady of the Skulls"), go on a quick excursion into comic fantasy (Theodore Sturgeon's wonderful "Yesterday Was Monday") and onto modern fantastic writing in Jack Womack's excellent "Audience," where we are taken through a museum of lost sounds. Five hundred pages does indeed make for a "mammoth" book, but this collection is only a step in the right direction. While Ashley manages to include a wide variety of writers, from Ursula K. LeGuin to Lisa Goldstein, Darrell Schweitzer to Harlan Ellison, there are a great many more who would have to be included if this were to be a definitive collection. However, it does work as a solid introduction to the field.

Gavin J. Grant recently married the girl of his dreams, science fiction author Kelly Link.

comments powered by Disqus