The Wizard Made Me Do It
I’m going to do something a bit different for my book review. I’m going to tell you about a book that I’m not done reading. (Truthfully, if you’ve read my other blog, you know that’s a load of hogwash. I do it all the time.) It’s captured my attention and I don’t think I could’ve waited until another From the Stacks week to tell you about it.
Wizards: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy is an anthology edited by Jack Dann and features a hoard authors, including Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Elizabeth Hand, Eoin Colfer, and Tad Williams just to name a few. Quite obviously this anthology revolves around one of fantasy’s favorite patriarch, the wizard. Although, as some of the stories point out, not every wizard has to be male.
I’ve heard of at least half of the names in this collection, guaranteeing my purchase. And with the exception of the first story by Neil Gaiman, all are original works. The Neil Gaiman story, “The Witch’s headstone” is actually a chapter from his novel, The Graveyard Book. No complaints here. It’s an award-winning story and stands alone beautifully.
But the main reason I’m bringing this collection to your attention is for the authors I’m not familiar with. Granted they might be known to you or someone else, but to me they were new. Authors like Jane Yolen, who wrote a story about a Jewish wizard, and Patricia A. McKillip, with the story of teen wizard on her most important day, her Naming Day. Before I read them in this book, I’ve never heard of them. Now I’m going to actively look for something else by them.
It can be difficult to find new authors to read and Identify with their stories. Word of mouth is good, but not always reliable. Anthologies are a great way to find new author while enjoying the ones you already like. I personally would like to recommend Wizards, but any anthology with an author you like in it could be just as rewarding.