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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Short Version..

Book 2 of 4.. RIP

Wizards by multiple authors, Edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
    Publisher: Berkley
    Hardcover (May 1, 2007)
    ISBN-10: 0425215180

  • At 9:30 last night I completed book 2 of Carls RipII Challenge...
    Once again I wondered if it really fit the Challenge. But then.. I had 18 short stores to read to find out!

    Indeed a number of them fit the bill.. beginning with Neil Gaiman's The Witch's Headstone, which all takes place in and around a graveyard. The main character is a young man named Bod, who goes against what he's told and treads on unholy ground. There he meets the ghost (?) of a witch. Learning that witches don't deserve headstones Bod decides differently and goes about trying to get a headstone for the witches grave.

    I have to be up front here and tell you.. not only am I trying to read outside of my love of "fantasy", but this book gave me a second challenge in that.. it was short stories. I have difficulty with short stories. Either I like them and get upset that they are so short and want to know more.. or.. I don't like them, in which case... they can't be short enough!

    I found that this book had both.. (but one must take personal taste into consideration) a number of stories which couldn't be short enough.. and a number of them I would have wanted to read more of.

    It's filled with stories, some by well known authors such as Gaiman and Orson Scott Card and others by authors I had not known before, such as Mary Rosemblum, and Elizabeth Hand.
    Krage Baker wrote a story about someone who was pure evil marrying someone who was pure good.. and their offspring thereof! The marriage itself a force to contend with.

    Elizabeth Hand wrote one that would certainly fall under the "creepy" category when she wrote "Winter's Wife". The story is told by Justin, a young boy who was a neighbor and friend to Winter. Winter was a man who "lived in a creep-looking old school bus in the middle of the woods, with smoke coming out of a chimney and huge piles of split logs around. In the fall he'd had deer and dead coyotes hanging from this big pole that looked like a gallows.. and blood in the snow." (sound creepy enough?) But actually Winter is a pretty nice guy who seems to have a special thing when it came to trees and wood, and a love for 3 special trees called Kings Pines that were at least 300 yrs old.

    Since creepy begets creepy, eventually Winter meets a woman on line, from Iceland, and goes to marry her and bring her back to his "bus". Vala shares in her "weirdness" and adds much to this short story. Not the least of which is the ending.. which I will not give away here because it is a story you most likely will enjoy.. even if it is creepy!

    One of the stories I enjoyed the most was one called "Color Vision" by Mary Rosenblum. It was fast paced and a lot happened in the short 24 pages. She captures kids and their dialogues so well you feel these kids are real! The story is about a young girl named Melanie and her friends Jeremy and Cris.

    It seems when anyone talks Melanie see's color. She's told it's a brain malfunction called synesthesia. Her friend Jeremy thinks this is cool. While in school one day a new principal arrives and when he comes to her class Melanie see's the color silver and feels a wrongness about him, especially when he says he knows her mother who is long gone.

    She runs from school with Jeremy following and takes him to meet her other friend Cris. When they first arrive where Cris lives Jeremy see's an old rundown barn with a wall around it, but as he climbs an apple tree to see over the wall he see's a castle!.. and the creepy stuff begins in earnest. The strange new principal is after all the First Born.. for their power.

    This was so well written.. the story is great, the kids are so realistic it isn't a challenge to see them in your mind... This is one of those short stories I wouldn't have minded it being a bit longer.. you know.. like a full book!
    Wizards ends with a story by Orson Scott Card called Stonefather. This was my first read of Mr Card's and I will say it was a good one to end the book with. It was the longest of the short stories being 74 pages long.. but read as fast as one only 20 pages long! A definite good read.

    All in all, if you like short stories, I can say that I found more good ones here than I expected to, so it's a book I'd recommend. I can't say it will make a short story reader of me, but it surely is a good way to read authors you've never read before so that you can get a feel for the writing they do.

    Read more RIP Book Reviews Here!


    Blogger chrisa511 said...

    Cool! I'm reading this one slowly throughout the challenge. If you liked Stonefather, you'll be happy to know that book 1 of a new series called Mithermages comes out in early 2008 set in the same world as Stonefather! I'm psyched about that one! The Rosenblum story sounds really cool! Looking forward to that one. I think that one is up for the next Short Story Sunday.

    2:57 PM  
    Blogger Ana S. said...

    Like you, I wasn't familiar with Elizabeth Hand, but I completely fell in love with "Winter's Wife". I really must read more of her work. Short stories anthologies really are great ways to get to know new authors.

    I thought "Color Vision" was great too. And "Stonefather" was among my favourites.

    6:27 AM  
    Blogger DesLily said...

    Chris: yes, I liked Stonefather..I didn't get much of a feeling for the "world" though, as much as the character.

    Nymeth:looks like we have similiar tastes, at least in those stories lol.. i liked a few others but those stayed most in my mind.

    7:05 AM  
    Blogger Carrie said...

    Rawr.. I forgot about the challenge!! I just got two new books, and I'm nowhere near ready to read them, but I've GOT to get my horror stories out and see what I've got that I can read for that. I meant to do the Once Upon a Time one, but never got around to that either. Thanks for reminding me!

    By the way, I left a present for you over on my blog! :)

    9:33 AM  
    Blogger Carl V. Anderson said...

    Your description of your relationship with short stories is a common one. I myself love them and I am jealous that you've already finished Wizards. I've read a few of the stories and enjoyed them so far. And Wizards most definitely fits the bill as far as R.I.P. goes, the first story by Gaiman makes sure of that!

    7:36 PM  
    Blogger redsneakz said...

    Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite authors, not just fantasy/sci-fi authors. I recommend EVERYTHING he's written.

    6:11 PM  
    Blogger Marina said...

    I think I should just resign myself to being behind the curve with this Challenge crowd, and to keep my amazon wishlist in another tab as I read about all these wonderful books.

    I think this is the only thing I miss about working in a library (seeing what's new).

    9:44 PM  
    Blogger Bookfool said...

    For some reason, I think of fantasy as fitting to the RIP theme - scary or not. I don't think you're cheating. :)

    Marina is so right; might as well give in and keep the wish list handy.

    11:13 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Too many books, too little time!

    1:10 PM  

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