Greenberg, Martin (ed.): After the King

After finishing The Last Hero, I picked up After the King, edited by Martin Greenberg; it has a Pratchett short story, “Troll Bridge,” that also features Cohen the Barbarian, though it’s not clear to me if it’s supposed to be canonical Discworld. It’s a great story and works with some themes similar to The Last Hero‘s.

Since After the King has some other very fine stories, and since anthologies are good for short-attention-span environments like hospital and airport waiting rooms (to pick two examples completely not at random), I ended up reading most of the rest of it over vacation. (There are a few stories that I have no interest in reading, and accordingly have never read; I don’t really know why.) Far and away my favorite is Emma Bull’s “Silver or Gold,” a beautiful and wise fairy tale that’s possibly the best thing Bull’s published to date (high praise; she’s one of my favorite writers). My second favorite is Patricia McKillip’s “The Fellowship of the Dragon,” which makes me wonder if I’m not best off reading her in short story form; the only novel of hers I’ve liked so far is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (which I loved), but I thought “The Lion and the Lark” was great (published in The Armless Maiden and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Ninth Edition). Other stories I particuarly enjoyed were Peter Beagle’s “The Naga,” Jane Yolen’s “Winter’s King,” and Mike Resnick’s “Revolt of the Sugar Plum Fairies.”

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