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Naked City
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About the Author

Multiple award-winning editor Ellen Datlow has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for almost thirty years. She was fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and SCIFICTION and has edited more than fifty anthologies, including the horror half of the long-running The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. She lives in New York. Visit her on the web at www.datlow.com.

Reviews

Datlow (Digital Domains) adds to her already lengthy list of impressive anthology credits with this compilation of 20 original stories from some of the best-known names in urban fantasy. For newbies, her short but informative intro clearly lays out the boundaries of these works, which combine "the often-dark edge of city living with enticing worlds of magic." Jim Butcher's "Curses," a humorous short story linked to his Dresden Files series, is a nice change of pace from his increasingly grim novels. Ellen Kushner's "The Duke of Riverside" gives the origins of the romance between Alec and St. Vier, heroes of her novel Swordspoint. Lavie Tidhar's "The Projected Girl," set in Haifa, Israel, features a boy's search for the truth behind a legendary magic trick. Other notable contributors include Lucius Shepard, Patricia Briggs, and Melissa Marr. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

"This anthology of short fiction affords a superb sampling of urban fantasy, that popular sf/fantasy subgenre defined in the book's introduction (which, in all of three pages, is a welcome and helpful, to say nothing of articulate, definition of this subgenre) as a combination of the "often-dark edge of city living with enticing worlds of magic"--with an urban landscape being absolutely crucial to the story. To put it another way (as also expressed in the introduction, that is), "where the story takes place should matter, in some way, to the story." The headliner piece, by virtue of its placement first in the collection's presentation and the name recognition of the author, is "Curses," by Jim Butcher, creator of the urban-fantasy series Dresden Files. It opens like a noir detective story--"Most of my cases are pretty tame"--but by page 2, we see this is Dresden Files fiction as well. The premise is a riot: the famous curse upon the Chicago Cubs has supernatural origins here. "Priced to Sell," by Naomi Novik, is also very entertaining. It's about vampires buying real estate in Manhattan. But you will have fun with all 20 stories." --Booklist

In Jim Butcher's "Curses," practicing magician and PI Harry Dresden takes on a Chicago legend and finds himself involved in the world of Faerie mischief, while in Peter S. Beagle's "Underbridge," a cynical children's literature professor finds a kindred spirit under a Seattle bridge. The 20 stories in this anthology, contributed by Holly Black, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Delia Sherman, Christopher Fowler, John Crowley, Naomi Novik, and others, reflect the diversity and depth of urban fantasy popularized by authors such as Charles de Lint and Tanya Huff. VERDICT These original tales by an impressive array of authors provide a powerful introduction to the genre for the curious and a welcome indulgence for urban fantasy fans. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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