Editor: Paula Guran
Anthology of short stories about streets and magic
Paperback 384 pages
Published 12 April 2016 by Prime Books
Streets are more than thoroughfares. Cobblestone or concrete, state of mind or situation streets are catalysts for culture; sources of knowledge and connection, invisible routes to hidden levels of influence. In worlds where magic is real, streets can be full of dangerous shadows or paths to salvation. Wizards walk such streets, monsters lurk in their alleys, demons prowl or strut, doors open to places full of delightful enchantment or seething with sorcery, and truly dead ends abound.
This selection of stories some tales may be rediscoveries, others never encountered on your fictional map will take you for a wild ride through many realms of imagination.
I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
“There also seems to be a disproportionate number of bars and taverns in these twenty tales. I suppose streets have to lead somewhere.” – Introduction Street Magicks.
When I saw this book on Netgalley, I was immediately sold. The cover looked great to me, I was attracted by the synopsis and when I saw Scott Lynch and Jim Butcher in the author-list…well I think I felt a little emotional (at that moment I hysterically started to hit the read-now-button).
Before you read any further: I will not give you a summary of the twenty stories in this book. I will only mention what I thought of this anthology in general and my personal favourite. If you really really want to know which short stories are in this book, here’s a table of contents:
- Introduction: “Practices and Paved Paths” by Paula Guran
- “Freewheeling” by Charles de Lint
- “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane” by Scott Lynch
- “Caligo Lane” by Ellen Klages
- “Socks” by Delia Sherman
- “Painted Birds and Shivered Bones” by Kat Howard
- “The Goldfish Pond and Other Stories” by Neil Gaiman
- “One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King” by Elizabeth Bear
- “Street Worm” by Nisi Shawl
- “A Water Matter” by Jay Lake
- “Last Call” by Jim Butcher
- “Bridle” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
- “The Last Triangle” by Jeffrey Ford
- “Working for the God of the Love of Money” by Kaaron Warren
- “Hello, Moto” by Nnedi Okorafor
- “The Spirit of the Thing: A Nightside Story” by Simon R. Green
- “A Night in Electric Squidland” by Sarah Monette
- “Speechless in Seattle” by Lisa Silverthorne
- “Palimpsest” by Catherynne M. Valente
- “Ash” by John Shirley
- “In Our Block” by R. A. Lafferty
In general I think this was a good anthology. The introduction prepared me well for the sort of short stories that I could expect. In every story, there was a presence of streets and magicks, I really liked the reoccurance of the theme throughout the entire anthology (it might not always be present as clearly, but the theme was always there). Even though all the stories were different, in a way they were all the same. It was nice to see the differences in writing styles throughout this collection of tales, and I really appreciate the effort that Paula Guran put into making all this into one collection.
Of course I had my personal favourite, being “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane” by Scott Lynch. This story made me see how interesting a short story can be. How much you can tell in only so many pages by actually not telling all that much, until the very end where it all comes together to form something amazing.
Since this is an anothology, it was quite hard for me to come up with a score. There were some stories that interested me, while others were just weird and not at all that appealing. I will give this anthology 3.5 stars.