Customer Reviews of Baker's Dozen: 13 Short Science Fiction Novels
Nice collection of novellas from some Big Names
This book, edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh, features a pleasant collection of novellas (13) from some pretty well-respected, "veteran" writers of Sci-Fi.
There are two separate tales from the "Thieves' World." There is a vampire story. A novella about a prophetic dream that may or may not lead to hidden treasure. Then there is the sad tale of an obnoxious adventurer who learns that powerful magic can indeed be wielded by "savages," and a fun "Conan the Cimmerian" tale in which the intrepid muscleman once again runs into the unflappable Valeria. There is a chilling tale of high magic as wizards and priests fight to control the weather. "The 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novella" is here too: the tale of two thieves in a fantastic society causing trouble over their thievery. There is an "Elric of Melnibone" "novella" here (actually a few chapter excerpts from the second Elric book). There is a tale of a blind woman who takes on a quest to obtain secret knowledge. The antics of Romulus and Remus told from a Faun's point of view. A far-into-the-future world where a Boy Comes of Age, and to end it all, a brave knight rescues a princess and fights a cataclysmic battle between good and evil.
While all are definitely in the "Fantasy" genre, each tale is different enough that you shouldn't get too bored. This book might make a good gift for those friends who think all Fantasy consists of endless volumes of martial Elves and warrior Halflings who hold committees about magic rings and godstones, while the Knight Hero sets out to rescue the damsel-in-distress. And it's a fine book for fantasy buffs anywhere. The stories (Many excerpts from what later became novels) were written from 1936 - 1981.
The contributors are: Poul Andersen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Avram Davidson, Sir H. Rider Haggard, Robert E. Howard, John Jakes, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, Janet Morris, Andre Norton, Thomas Burnett Swann, Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny.
These tales were a refreshing change from what has become "mainstream" Fantasy.
Recommended. Look for it in a used book shop.