Dark Alchemy [edited] by ,

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Magical Tales from Masters of Modern Fantasy
ISBN: 9780747590569

There was a witch buried at the edge of the graveyard; it was common knowledge.

Image of Dark AlchemyThis is a collection of 18 short stories, and as the title of the collection seems to have been Wizards in the USA there is a common theme running through them all. That being wizards :)

As with all these sort of collections there are some that I enjoyed more than others, but none that I actively disliked. The book starts off strongly with Neil Gaiman’s The Witch’s Headstone all about a boy who lives in the cemetery, despite being a live child he lives with the dead. This is followed by one of my favourites, Holly and Iron by Garth Nix, which is an alternative version of the Norman conquest of England and also a sort of Robin Hood story. But then again not.

If you like short stories then I’m sure you’d find something here to like.
Contents:
The Witch’s Headstone BY NEIL GAIMAN
Holly and Iron BY GARTH NIX
Color Vision BY MARY ROSENBLUM
The Ruby Incomparable BY KAGE BAKER
A Fowl Tale BY EOIN COLFER
Slipping Sideways Through Eternity BY JANE YOLEN
The Stranger’s Hands BY TAD WILLIAMS
Naming Day BY PATRICIA A. MCKILLIP
Winter’s Wife BY ELIZABETH HAND
A Diorama of the Infernal Regions, or The Devil’s Ninth Question BY ANDY DUNCAN
Barrens Dance BY PETER S. BEAGLE
Stone Man BY NANCY KRESS
The Manticore Spell BY JEFFREY FORD
Zinder BY TANITH LEE
Billy and the Wizard BY TERRY BISSON
The Magikkers BY TERRY DOWLING
The Magic Animal BY GENE WOLFE
Stonefather BY ORSON SCOTT CARD

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8 Responses

  1. Nymeth says:

    I'd heard about this collection, but I had no idea rhat the Neil Gaiman short story was that one! That's a chapter from his upcoming "Graveyard Book", which I am DYING to read. Plus… Garth Nix, Peter Beagle, Jane Yolen… I need this book ASAP!

  2. Carl V. says:

    I love the cover and title of this version. Of course I love the Palencar cover of the USA version as well. The title, not so much. I've read the Gaiman story, which was great, and the Nix story which was as well. That is all the farther I am into this one.

  3. Fence says:

    Yup Nymeth, the Graveyard Book sounds great, course the way Gaiman posts the title of new chapters on his journal is a little mean ;)

    Carl it was the cover design that attracted me to this. silver and grey cobwebs and ivy. Who could resist :)

  4. Carl V. says:

    I agree…though having a new Gaiman and Wolfe story in it alone was enough to make me want to own it even if it had been wrapped in a paper bag.

  5. Fence says:

    I've never read any of Wolfe's books. I really should fix that shouldn't I?

  6. Thorn says:

    I just wanted to say that I REALLY like the UK cover shown here! The US one just doesn't appeal to me so much. I read a library copy, but if I were to buy it at some point, I think I'd have to order it on amazon.co.uk or something. (Comment #4 links to my review of this, BTW.)

  7. Fence says:

    Hey Thorn, I agree, much prefer the uk cover.

  1. 3 June 2007

    […] Review of Dark Alchemy (the UK title for Wizards) at the Susan Hated Literature blog. […]