In the modern-day world where enemies are often nameless, faceless and all-powerful, many people long for simpler times when the nature of good and evil was obvious. This book includes short stories of legendary warriors and mighty heroes.
A real winner, especially given such a generic theme
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
We all know what to expect from DAW anthologies by now: the usual crop of contributors with an uneven series of efforts, many of which wouldn't (and shouldn't) have been written at all if not for the theme. This one is a pleasant surprise, though, and made all the more pleasant by my relatively low expectations going in; could there be a more generic theme for an anthology that "Warrior Fantastic"? That title says nothing except that it's a book of fantasy stories about warriors. Well, they're all about warriors to one degree or another, aren't they (depending on how liberally one defines "warrior")? Nevertheless, there are many standouts here; it seems likely that the exceedingly general nature of the theme gave the writers the freedom they needed to come up with truly original stories, unconstrained by DAW's usual esoteric theme requirements (cats, thieves, the Civil War, etc.). Since no one else has, I suppose it falls to me to run down the stories contained therein. You may assume I liked each story unless I say otherwise. "At Sea" by Alan Dean Foster: Modern-day Valkyries avenge a ship captain of Scandinavian descent who's being blackmailed by smugglers. Cute, but not even close to Foster's best; heavily dependent on jokes about the Valkyries trying to adopt contemporary fashions. "The Walnut-Hued Man of Sutton Passeys" by Jean Rabe: A retelling of the rivalry between Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham; good characterization, but dependent on a rather predictable twist. "A Two-Edged Blade" by Diana L. Paxson: Oaths, honor, and bloodshed among the early Danes and Frisians (the guys who would eventually rule Britain). Heavily dependent on atmosphere to make up for its rather generic nature. Authors: setting your storiy in an unusual place or time is no longer enough to make it interesting. "Heritage" by Fiona Patton: A soldier in a war against an unusual enemy discovers that ancestry can be a powerful influence... "As Good as a Rest" by Tim Waggoner: Metatextual farce about a warrior woman reassigned from fantasy stories to sitcoms, romance novels, and so forth. Way too cute for its own good. "A Game of Swords" by David Bischoff: The guardian of an alternate Alexandria defends it against a race of what are apparently aliens, and devises a unique final gambit. "Airs Above the Ground" by Janet Pack: It's up to a woman and her horse to rescue the king from the enemy encampment. Authors: there's nothing mystical or beautiful about the bond between horse and rider; it's a matter of dominance and subjugation. That's why it's called "breaking the spirit." "Demon Hunter" by Pauline E. Dungate: a rather likeable demon and a determined demon hunter battle across India. All in a day's work, as the rather nifty ending makes clear. "Suspended Animation" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman: What if Pokemon were a live action game played in an unspecified fantasy setting? Much better than it sounds. "Spirit Warrior" by Kristine Schwengel: An Egyptian
Another excellent fantasy compilation
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
With Greenberg as one of the editors, you can expect nothing less than excellently put together short stories by top and up and coming authors in the genre.Some readers might be put off by the cover, but it isn't all traditional hack-and-slash heroes - there are Valkyries on a modern fishing vessal, a cat who battles against the dark forces, and other wonderful adventures both serious and tongue-in-cheek. Great for fun, light reading that's a little thought provoking.
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