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Stories of the unreal, of trolls and werewolves, spells and sorcerers and magic lands, have been part of the human psyche for as long as there are records. In the present century, far from being outdated by the rise of technology and science fiction, fantasy has once more become a major literary genre expressive of the deepest feelings about humanity and its relation to the natural world.
In The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories, Tom Shippey brings together thirty-one short fantasy stories from the last years of the nineteenth century to the immediate present. The anthology shows both the development of the fantasy genre over time and the range of individual talents it has embraced, from Lord Dunsany and H.P. Lovecraft through Ray Bradbury, Mervyn Peake, Larry Niven, and Angela Carter, to the latest creations of Tanith Lee, Lucius Shepard, and Terry Pratchett. In addition to these marvelous tales, Shippey also provides a thoughtful introduction that discusses the nature of fantasy, and he includes an extensive bibliography listing single author collections and anthologies of fantasy writings as well as works of criticism.
For established readers of fantasy fiction, Tom Shippey's selection will offer many forgotten gems, and for those less familiar with the genre, it forms an ideal introduction to perhaps the purest of literary pleasures.
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About the Editor:
Tom Shippey is the Walter Ong Professor of Literature at St Louis University, Missouri. He also edited The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories.
Shippey discusses the long tradition of fantasy and then offers stories from 1888 through 1992 to illustrate its growth in this century. Some familiar names, such as Kate Wilhelm and James Blish, aren't to be found here, and some overrated ones, such as Lord Dunsany and Robert E. Howard, are; but for the most part, Shippey avoids chestnuts and offers unusual, provocative tales. There's Phyllis Eisenstein's childlike "Subworld," about an unhappy, confused little boy who finds a secret passageway in the subway system and becomes a mouse; there's Lucius Shepard's "Night of White Bhairab," a witty parody of the spiritual search featuring a spaced-out, drunken American's fumblings as he blunders into an epic battle between good and evil. Though published in 1888, Richard Garnett's "Demon Pope" gives a fresh spin to the myth of Mephistopheles: the devil trades places with the pope, and no one can tell the difference. But the best tale here is Poul Anderson's manic "Operation Afleet," which takes the crisp, desperate quality of an army combat mission and combines it with weird magic and the powers werewolves can evoke. Vast, mythic, and wild. John Mort
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M019214216X
Book Description Oxford University Press, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11019214216X