The Secret History of Fantasy

The Secret History of Fantasy Step right up and buy your ticket to the impossible marvels of the Barnum Museum Take a highly caffeinated ride through the Empire of Ice Cream If you dare hunt feral archetypes deep within a haunted

  • Title: The Secret History of Fantasy
  • Author: Peter S. Beagle Stephen King Octavia E. Butler Neil Gaiman Ursula K. Le Guin Robert Holdstock Terry Bisson Patricia A. McKillip
  • ISBN: 9781892391995
  • Page: 122
  • Format: Paperback
  • Step right up and buy your ticket to the impossible marvels of the Barnum Museum Take a highly caffeinated ride through the Empire of Ice Cream If you dare, hunt feral archetypes deep within a haunted English forest Or conquer the New World with a band of geographically challenged Norsemen.Tired of the same old fantasy Here are the stories you ve never imagined possiblStep right up and buy your ticket to the impossible marvels of the Barnum Museum Take a highly caffeinated ride through the Empire of Ice Cream If you dare, hunt feral archetypes deep within a haunted English forest Or conquer the New World with a band of geographically challenged Norsemen.Tired of the same old fantasy Here are the stories you ve never imagined possible Nineteen extraordinary writers offer much needed antidotes to clich d tales of sword and sorcery Combining the best of the old and new, these instant classics will inspire even the most jaded of readers Beloved author and anthologist Peter S Beagle reveals the secret fantasy is back and it s better than ever.Contents Introduction by Peter S Beagle Ancestor Money by Maureen F McHugh Scarecrow by Gregory Maguire Lady of the Skulls by Patricia A McKillip We Are Norsemen by T C Boyle The Barnum Museum by Steven Millhauser Mrs Todd s Shortcut by Stephen King Bears Discover Fire by Terry Bisson Bones by Francesca Lia Block Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman Fruit and Words by Aimee Bender The Empire of Ice Cream by Jeffrey Ford The Edge of the World by Michael Swanwick Super Goat Man Jonathan Lethem John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner by Susanna Clarke The Book of Martha by Octavia E Butler The Vita terna Mirror Company by Yann Martel Sleight of Hand by Peter S Beagle Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss by Kij Johnson The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists by Ursula K Le Guin The Making of the American Fantasy Genre by David Hartwell

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      122 Peter S. Beagle Stephen King Octavia E. Butler Neil Gaiman Ursula K. Le Guin Robert Holdstock Terry Bisson Patricia A. McKillip
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      Posted by:Peter S. Beagle Stephen King Octavia E. Butler Neil Gaiman Ursula K. Le Guin Robert Holdstock Terry Bisson Patricia A. McKillip
      Published :2019-02-20T17:00:40+00:00

    1 thought on “The Secret History of Fantasy”

    1. Amazing fantasy stories that break the stereotype of what "fantasy" is. Contains an interesting discussion of the topic by Ursula Le Guin, which provided me with insight on the development of the "fantasy" field and subsequent dividing of genre fiction. Enjoyed "Ancestor Money" by Maureen McHugh. Admired the cleverness of Gregory Maguire's "Scarecrow," yet another take on the "Wizard of Oz" with some existential philosophy. Patricia McKillip was vaguely haunting in "Lady of the Skulls." I admire [...]

    2. Peter Beagle's introduction tells us that once upon a time all literature was fantasy. Ancient peoples sitting around the campfire had to explain what made the sun come up, and before nodding off, everyone probably joined in praying for it to do the same tomorrow. There was fantasy, and then there was literature and literary critics, and academia, and thus genrefication. Fantasy writing was consigned to children's literature. I was surprised to discover in the essay by David Hartwell at the back [...]

    3. This is another anthology I picked up on the recommendation of Charlie Jane Anders.Up to the Michael Swanwick story, I found all these stories at least vaguely familiar, which suggests I've read this collection before (at least that far). I may have stopped after the Swanwick because I disliked it. Although not every story in this volume was to my taste - something that's unlikely to happen unless I edit an anthology myself - there were still some fine ones.The basic premise of the Secret Histor [...]

    4. The Secret History of Fantasy is a 19-story collection of what I'm given to understand is unusual or different fantasy, along with a couple nonfiction essays about the genre as a whole (and of course, the forward by Peter Beagle). Taken as a whole, it was a varied and sometimes fascinating read, though as in any short story collection, there were a few that just flat didn't work for me. To start things off - I finally found a Gaiman story that I liked! It's like a miracle! His "Snow, Glass, Appl [...]

    5. This anthology of short stories, edited by Peter S. Beagle (best known as the author of "The Last Unicorn"), includes the introductory essay by Beagle and concluding essays buy Ursula K. Le Guin and David G. Hartwell that address the historical development of genre fiction - and especially the fantasy genre - and that development's role in narrowing the expectations of the average reader about what kind of story gets labeled "fantasy." All three, to varying extents, rail against the publisher-dr [...]

    6. One of the best reprint short story collections I have read. Introductory material by the exemplary editor (and fabulous writer) Peter S. Beagle and essays by Ursual K. Le Guin and David Hartwell provide persuasive defenses of fantasy's place in serious literature (and specifically fantasy that is not of the commodified Tolkien-imitation quest variety), but the real proof comes from the stories themselves. "The Barnum Museum" by Steven Millhauser really spells out why we love fantasy; why we rea [...]

    7. I truly enjoyed this collection of fantasy stories that Beagle out together, mostly because it stayed away from the "epic" or "sword and sorcery" sub-genre that seems to dominate the genre as a whole and serves as a stereotype for fantasy geeks. Some of the stories I didn't care for as much, but there weren't any I completely hated, and some of them I loved.The standouts:"The Lady of Skulls" by Patricia McKillip: This story is as close the anthology gets to sword and sorcery. A fable-like tale o [...]

    8. Siempre me ha gustado mucho el género fantastico, pero como todo mundo, suelo encontrar que en esa sección de la librería hay muchos libros con portadas de vikingos musculosos y/o doncellas con delgados vestidos y orejas puntiagudas junto a un lago en medio del bosque a la luz de la luna. Sin embargo, hay mas en la fantasía que ese tipo de libros. Como este. Aquí, Peter S. Beagle reunió varias historias de fantasía que están del otro lado del género. Que no necesitan elfos ni espadas pa [...]

    9. This is an impressive collection of fantasy short stories, most of them from the last two decades. I enjoyed most of them unreservedly. There are also two excellent essays at the back about the history of fantasy and its relationship to the literary canon. I didn't like the way that the book was packaged, with the tag line of "fantasy is back" - there has been a continuous tradition of thoughtful, well-written fantasy in the twentieth century; it's just been overlooked and then overshadowed by b [...]

    10. If you'd like to sample a variety of fantasy genre writings, this is the book for you; a collection of short stories by nineteen well-known authors in the fantasy genre. Some hits, some missesa few incredible gems worthy of 5 stars; but I rated the book four stars based on the sum of all parts.The standouts for me: The Vita Aeterna Mirror Company by Yann Martel (author of Life of Pi) is extraordinary; brilliantly crafted. Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle (author of The Last Unicorn) instills a [...]

    11. Every story in this collection had something of value, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading each one.My favorites, for their wit, wonder, and vividness, were:1. Scarecrow, by Gregory Maguire - how the scarecrow got hooked up with dorothy2. The Barnum Museum, by Steven Millhauser - where the museum is the protagonist3. Snow, Glass, Apples, by Neil Gaiman - a dark retelling of Snow White4. 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss, by Kij Johnson - a magical tale of mysterious wonder and moving ond LeGuin's essay, T [...]

    12. Although I understand the frustration of writers tired of being marginalized, it's difficult to talk about without sounding whiny. Ursula LeGuin manages; Beagle, not so much. But none of that takes away from the fact that this is a stellar anthology whose lineup of participating authors should open a few eyes regarding “fantasy literature.” Particular favorites include Steven Millhauser's “The Barnum Museum,” “The Empire of Ice Cream” by Jeffrey Ford, Octavia E. Butler's “The Book [...]

    13. I met Peter Beagle on his illustrious screening tour of the Last Unicorn, and I bought this book on a whim. The quality and variety of stories delighted me. The Lady of Skulls by Patricia A. McKillip told of a woman trapped in a cursed tower. Snow, Glass, Apples is the darkest story I've read by Neil Gaiman and the best. It retells the story of Snow White from the evil stepmother's point of view.

    14. There were some good stories here, and some I just completely skipped over because they weren't interesting to me at all. Overall a pretty good collection of short fantasy stories. (Keep in mind I'm not really a fan of short stories)

    15. A very solid anthology of fantasy stories. A couple of them were familiar to me from other anthologies or fantasy fiction magazines, and it was nice to have an opportunity to reread them. My favorites in the collection were Peter S. Beagle's poignant "Sleight of Hand," Steven King's technically clunky but psychologically effective "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut," and Susanna Clark's hilarious folk tale-style "John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner."I'm not sure how 'secret' this side of fantasy i [...]

    16. This is one of the few anthologies in which there isn't a single story I don't like and only one that I think is less than very good. My favorites (all of which I had read previously) are "Bears Discover Fire" by Terry Bisson, "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss" by Kij Johnson, and "The Empire of Ice Cream" by Jeffrey Ford. I think those three stories are truly excellent, and a number of the other stories are almost as good.There are also two quite good essays about fantasy literature by Ursula K. LeGu [...]

    17. Stupidamente pensavo che un libro intitolato The Secret History of Fantasy fosse un saggio o una raccolta di interventi critici e storici sul fantasy Il sintagma "secret history" mi pareva una concessione all'immaginario del genere da non tenere troppo in conto (se è vero che non si può giudicare un libro dalla copertina o dal titolo, è anche vero che il titolo "la storia segreta di" spesso prelude a libri con poca storia e nessun segreto).Questo volume è invece una raccolta di racconti (tec [...]

    18. I've been looking for non-formulaic fantasy works semi-systematically for a year or so now, and this seemed like a promising avenue to scout the field. I've enjoyed stuff by Peter Beagle, Neil Gaiman, Octavia Butler, Ursula LeGuin, and Susanna Clarke quite a bit, so I hoped to find some comparable writers in this anthology. Like most short story collections, this one was hit and miss. Nothing had quite the power or originality I was hoping for. A couple of them were executed with a sense of psyc [...]

    19. This is a very good collection of fantasy short stories. There are authors I've read (Stephen King, Susanna Clarke, Neil Gaiman), authors I've heard of (Ursula Le Guin, Aimee Bender), and authors I've never heard of (Steven Millhauser, Robert Holdstock, Kij Johnson).I have to say, Peter Beagle won me over in his introduction when he told a story about Sword of Shannara. He was asked for a jacket quote, and he was only a few chapters in when he called up the person who'd asked him and told her, b [...]

    20. This is a strong batch. It's hard for me to pick a few favorites to describe; that would take brains & subtlety and I've just got anger so I'm going to bounce off Ursula LeGuin's critical essay near the end. It was first published in 2007. Now I don't know when term "Magical Realism" came into play, but you may have heard me mention how much I hate it (just the category; I tend to like the books that are assigned to it).So in "The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists", LeGuin is arguing [...]

    21. Favorite stories from this collection:Ancestor Money by Maureen F. McHughWhat happens when you die? How do your descendants remember you? What if? This story is fun, slightly irreverent, and thought provoking. Lots of buildup, quick descent, sticks with you.Lady of the Skulls by Patricia McKillipWhat is love? What is treasure? What is worth it? This story is almost saccharine and a bit preachy, but a cute attempt to create something unexpected.The Barnum Museum by Steven MillhauserA great demons [...]

    22. This is one of my favourite anthologies and where I found one of my new favourite authors (the other beingMarie Brennan, author of the wonderful Natural History of Dragons series). Initially I wanted to read this collection for old favourites: Peter S. Beagle, Ursula K Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, and Kij Johnson, but imagine my wonder and surprise when the story that gave the most impact belonged to none other than Gregory Maguire's short and brilliant story - [i]The Scarecrow[/i] (worth four stars al [...]

    23. I've absolutely got to save a link to Ursula Le Guin's essay from this book. I don't want to lose the words when I've got to grudgingly return this book to the library.I'd originally grabbed this for the short stories by Patricia McKillip, Susanna Clarke, and Neil Gaiman, only to realize - slightly disappointed - that I'd already read those particular short stories. (Lady of the Skulls, "John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner", and Snow, Glass, Apples respectively.)But, I don't mind rere [...]

    24. Pretty good stuff. I wanted to give this four stars except most of the best stories I had already read elsewhere, which means, I think, that it's not very "secret," at least not to me. Anyhow, some standout stories: I haven't read much Steven King but his "Mrs Todd's Shortcut" (which I hadn't read before even though it was apparently written in 1984) was probably my favorite of the bunch. I have master's in literature, so I'm not supposed to read Steven King (sarc), but he sure knows how to crea [...]

    25. It's always tricky, rating anthologies. The stories always vary wildly in enjoyment level, tone, reread value, writing style, and a number of other factors. If I enjoyed one story on a five-star level, and another one on a two-star, do I average them out? Do I go with how I felt about most of the stories?In the end, I'm trying to look at this as a whole, and I have to admit, Ursula LeGuin's essay at the end about how to look at fantasy and its role versus "literary" writing, goes a long way to t [...]

    26. I found the stories contained in this book to be hit or miss, ranging from great down to having to skip a story part-way through out of boredom. I got stuck early on and struggled to continue reading but I am glad that I eventually did so, because the later stories get better. It was not the type of a book that you can’t put down and you just have to keep reading no matter how late it gets. I found that I needed a break after reading some of the stories but some of the ones I liked definitely [...]

    27. Supposedly the "secret" is that fantasy is back, better than ever.Upon viewing the recent phenomena of books and movies about Star Wars, Superman, Batman, Avengers, Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, and Harry Potter, I would agree!This engaging compilation of cutting-edge, non-traditional fantasy includes works by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Octavia Butler, but also many other lesser-known but very talented authors.Besides the stories, I really enjoyed the recent essays by David Hartwell, "The Makin [...]

    28. I really enjoyed this collection of fantastical short stories. One that really stood out to me was "The Empire of Ice Cream" by Jeffrey Ford. Without giving away too much of the plot (which would ruin it), this was such an imaginative and creative idea for a story. The writing was somewhat difficult to get used to - those always turn out to be my favorite - yet it drew you in as you kept reading. I did have to skip some of "The Barnum Museum", as I found it disjointed and didn't really understan [...]

    29. Wonderful fantasy purist's anthology - No magic, melodrama or SciFi, simply realismLoved it!! Quite refreshing for a change!!Especially loved the sweet and wonder-inspiring "MRS. TODD'S SHORTCUT" by Stephen King, and the incredibly clever "SNOW, GLASS, APPLES" by Neil Gaiman.Also sweet and wonderful were "BEARS DISCOVER FIRE" by Terry Bisson, "THE VITA AETERNA MIRROR COMPANY" by Yann Martel, and "THE BARNUM MUSEUM" by Steven Millhauser. T. C. Boyle was very entertaining with his combination of s [...]

    30. Edited by Peter S. Beagle, with short stories by some of your favourite fantasy authors!The Secret History of Fantasy is an anthology of short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the business, including Stephen King, Gregory Maguire, Yann Martel, Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, and Beagle himself.In his introduction, Beagle presents this anthology as a light in the dark, dull void that the fantasy genre has become. He references Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings numerous times, commen [...]

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