The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

The Big Book of Classic Fantasy Unearth The Enchanting Origins Of Fantasy Fiction With A Collection Of Tales As Vast As The Tallest Tower And As Mysterious As The Dark Depths Of The Forest Fantasy Stories Have Always Been With Us They Illuminate The Odd And The Uncanny, The Wondrous And The Fantastic All The Things We Know Are Lurking Just Out Of Sight On The Other Side Of The Looking Glass, Beyond The Music Of The Impossibly Haunting Violin, Through The Twisted Trees Of The Ancient Woods Other Worlds, Talking Animals, Fairies, Goblins, Demons, Tricksters, And Mystics These Are The Elements That Populate A Rich Literary Tradition That Spans The Globe A Work Composed Both Of Careful Scholarship And Fantastic Fun, The Big Book Of Classic Fantasy Is Essential Reading For Anyone Who S Never Forgotten The Stories That First Inspired Feelings Of Astonishment And WonderCLUDING Stories By Pillars Of The Genre Like The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Mary Shelley, Christina Rossetti, L Frank Baum, Robert E Howard, And J R R Tolkien Fantastical Offerings From Literary Giants Including Edith Wharton, Leo Tolstoy, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston, Vladimir Nabokov, Hermann Hesse, And WEB Du Bois Rare Treasures From Asian, Eastern European, Scandinavian, And Native American Traditions New Translations, Including Fourteen Stories Never Before In EnglishPLUS Beautifully Bizarre Creatures Strange New Worlds Just Beyond The Garden Path Fairy Folk And Their Dark Mischief Seriously Be Careful Do Not Trust Those Fairies

Ann VanderMeer is an American publisher and editor, and the second female editor of the horror magazine Weird Tales She is the founder of Buzzcity Press.Her work as Fiction Editor of Weird Tales won a Hugo Award Work from her press and related periodicals has won the British Fantasy Award, the International Rhysling Award, and appeared in several year s best anthologies Ann was also the founder

[Ebook] The Big Book of Classic Fantasy  By Ann VanderMeer –
  • Paperback
  • 848 pages
  • The Big Book of Classic Fantasy
  • Ann VanderMeer
  • English
  • 06 October 2019
  • 9780525435563

10 thoughts on “The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

  1. Mel (Epic Reading) says:

    Certainly I ll have read a fair few of these stories before But 14 unpublished in English until now Count me in eARC received Read and review to come closer to publication date.

  2. Sydney Smith says:

    Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.So this is a great compendium, and one I ll definitely buy when it s released, but it has flaws I appreciate the variety of stories here, most of which I had never read, but a lot of them didn t have satisfying endings and they re all super weird I love that they re weird, but some of the endings annoyed me I think a lot of it has to do with them being translated to English Overall, I think this is an awesome collection of classic fantasy, fairy tales and otherwise I don t usually like to read eBooks, so that could have had something to do with it not being a 5 star for me I ll have to get the print copy to be sure At the beginning of this ARC it says to please not quote anything until I check it against the finished book when it s published, so that kind of limits my review I ll go back and add quotes from my notes after it s published I ll also probably go back and add about different stories, but I ll have to wait for a lot of them Most of my notes for the stories I m leaving off need quotes to go with them A few notes on random stories The Queen s Son by Bettina von Arnim Very odd story, and an interesting choice for the first story in the book A queen is pregnant for 7 years before the king throws her out to live with the wild beasts of the forest because he thinks god is punishing her and he hates her ugly bloated body yes, that s in there She eventually gives birth, alone, in the woods, and something interesting happens The ending is pretty anticlimactic honestly, even though I can appreciate the bizarreness of this story Not bad, just not great either It s really interesting up until the very end, even though the wording is weird and detached throughout I think part of the problem lies with the translation from German to English Hans My Hedgehog by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm What a strange little tale I actually loved it, up until the very last sentence, which didn t fit and kind of annoyed me It backpedals on the moral of the story Basically, the townspeople mock this guy because he doesn t have any kids, so he makes some joke about having a hedgehog kid But then his wife has a baby who s born with the head of a hedgehog This hedgehog boy is abused and neglected by his family until the day he decides to leave, atop a rooster s back Some odd things happen that are actually pretty interesting, and the fairy tale vibe is definitely there There s a moral along the lines of catch flies with honey and be kind, or else, and there is a happy ending, but the last line just messes it up for me The Story of the Hard Nut by E.T.A Hoffmann Apparently, this story is an excerpt from the author s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which the ballet is based on Bizarrely humorous story that is pretty dark It has to do with a curse of sorts, one cast by a mouse lady who claims to be a queen related to the human king This curse turns the most beautiful princess baby into a hideous human with a huge deformed head and a tiny body All of this happens due to a pretty ridiculous sausage party mishap Yes, I mean an actual sausage party thrown by the king and queen I liked it, but there it s not a happy story, even though the ending is supposed to make us think there might be a happy ending someday The Nest of Nightingales by Theophile Gautier Again, very anticlimactic Two hermit cousins have otherworldly singing abilities, and they teach 3 orphan birds their way of singing after the bird parent dies while trying to compete against the girls in a singing competition Not my cup of tea and maybe my least favorite story in the book.The Will o the Wisps are in Town by Hans Christian Andersen A fairy tale about fairy tales, luck, and poetry in bottle Oh, and a Bog Witch who tells a story within a story It s interesting because I can see how he might have made this as a way of describing his writer s block The main reason I think this story was better than most is because there s an actual ending that makes sense, and it s even kind of funny in a way that s hard to describe I hadn t read this fairy tale by Andersen before, so that alone was exciting I love his stuff Looking Glass House Excerpt from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll I can t help but love Lewis Carroll The Big Book of Classic Fantasy calls his writing style nonsense literature, which I love This story is the first chapter from his second book, and I m sure you ll be familiar with it The Goophered Grapevine by Charles W Chestnutt I read this story in college actually, and reading it again I see that it holds up It has a special writing style that includes the use of dialect writing It s stories within a story and it involves a plantation and a former slave, a goophered cursed vineyard, and a conjure woman who practices magic There s magic in the tale, but it s not of the variety I m used to This is not a fairy tale, at least not to me, and it s slower than the others, but it s wonderfully written The Bee Man of Orn by Frank R Stockton Great little story with a good moral The Ensouled Violin by H.P Blavatsky Black magic, sign me up I really enjoyed this one, as ridiculous as it was Darker than a lot of the other stories here The Fulness of Life by Edith Wharton Not for me I get the sentiment, it s lovely in its sadness and morals, but things like this usually don t grab me Marriage, regrets, blah blah blah The Plattner Story by H.G Wells Very descriptive, in Wells fashion, but it s pushing it to say that this is fantasy A man is thrown into another dimension and meets aliens I enjoyed it, but not my favorite.The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka One of my all time favorites If you haven t read this, you are missing out on a this unnerving, dark fantasy story starring a roach person or is it There s a great hidden meaning here I m glad this was included in the collection of stories Uncle Monday by Zora Neale Hurston This is another story I remember from college I like Hurston and I did enjoy this story It s about a mysterious hoodoo conjurer, singing stones, and magical snakes It reads like a bogeyman legend to me, and the story itself isn t in the style I usually like, but Hurston is a great writer to come

  3. Janne Janssens says:

    This was a great collection, considering the variety of authors and styles, and the fact that Ann and Jeff Vandermeer succeeded in publishing an admirable number of stories that have never been translated to English before.I did not like every story, but it is not the purpose of that book to only tell stories that are public pleasers This Big Book contained stories of very well known authors and authors I have never heard of I liked reading short stories about those famous authors, which were often completely different from their big works, and I liked discovering new authors The Big Book of Classic Fantasy is a must have for people who love the fantasy genre and want to dive deeper than the temporary books and all known stories.

  4. Keith Chawgo says:

    The Big Book of Classic Fantasy has something for everyone is the quintessential book of incredible short story fantasy Including the works of Kafka, Benson, Tolkein, Sakutaro and Wells is just the tip of this glorious mountain of work You will find extraordinary stories of fiction written from the past including a whole host of literary geniuses.The classic fantasy collection has an incredible focus on including works of fantasy across many time frames which also has Rip Van Winkle and Poe and one in particular story by Tolstoy which I never knew that he wrote anything besides War and Peace Having to read this as required reading when I was growing up, I never warmed to Tolstoy but after reading this short, my interest has definitely piqued.There is really something for the whole family as the VanderMeer s lovingly put this collection together to include Hans Christian Anderson, Frank L Baum and Charles Dickens and as stated above, this is not even the beginning of this long list of fascinating authors This is an excellent collection and one everyone should have on their book Reviewing such a book can be difficult as these stories should be read, thought about, cherished before moving on and I was able to do that in between reading other books but I thoroughly enjoyed this This is a great achievement and a wonderful book I will definitely be buying a hardback or paperback version for my bookshelf.

  5. WS_BOOKCLUB says:

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion This will be available to purchase on July second.In case it isn t painfully obvious based on my other blog posts, I love fantasy of every kind I was so excited to delve into this collection of stories, some that are well known to me, and many others that I read for the first time.And let me tell you this selection is vast The editors went through a ton of effort to gather a varied representation of an enormous genre There were the usual culprits the Bros Grimm, Tolkein, Hans Christian Andersen It was great to see them all gathered in one place But what makes this book stand out are the surprising contributions Louisa May Alcott, Tolstoy, and even Kafka made appearances.I loved that there are stories from all over the world It was fantastic to see the differences and similarities between the fantastical tales It took me longer than I expected to finish this book, simply because there s so much to digest and I didn t want to rush it This is a book to be savored, one that I would recommend owning so that you can return to it time and again.

  6. Jen says:

    Full disclosure I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.The editors define classic fantasy to include stories written between the early 1800s and WWII They attempt to represent the natural diversity of the genre which they point out is far extensive than what most readers might assume, given the conservative biases of many other anthologies , while being mindful of how many of the stories of this era have aged for example, in regards to racism and sexism Even where familiar authors appear, the stories the VanderMeers have chosen tend to be obscure.The book has a nice introduction discussing different trends and themes in fantasy through the period covered in this anthology, and each author has a short biographical piece which helps the reader understand how their work contributes to the genre Quite frankly, this would make an excellent textbook for a literature class on classic fantasy The introduction says that half the stories in this collection are translated works, some of which have never been translated before into English and some of which are new translations The authors are from a total of 26 countries While it s still a Europe centric collection, this anthology demonstrates impressive diversity in its representation of the genre at that era.The bad Some stories have not aged especially well While the editors did clearly make an effort to select stories with less sexism and racism than the rest of the genre at that time, it s still there Your mileage may vary on how much you tolerate when you read, and if your tolerance level is zero, then this may not be the book for you In one notable example, The Goophered Grapevine has the n word littered throughout it, though I will add that it was written by an African American author.In any reprint anthology, I like to know the table of contents so I can decide how much overlap it has with my other collections and whether the unique portions are worth it to me I ve listed it below, but I think you ll find that this is definitely worth buying if you enjoy classic fantasy, due to its enormous size and how many of the works are translated for the first time into English.Table of contents The Queen s Son by Bettina von Armin Hans My Hedgehog by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm The Story of the Hard Nut by E T A Hoffmann Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving The Luck of the Bean Rows by Charles Nodier Transformation by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley The Nest of Nightingales by Th ophile Gautier The Fairytale about a Dead Body, Belonging to No One Knows Whom by Vladimir Odoevsky The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton by Charles Dickens The Nose by Nikolai Gogol The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe The Story of Jeon Unchi by Anonymous Feathertop by Nathaniel Hawthorne Master Zacharius by Jules Verne The Frost King by Louisa May Alcott The Tartarus of Maids by Herman Melville The Magic Mirror by George MacDonald The Diamond Lens by Fitz James O Brien Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti The Will O the Wisps Are in Town by Hans Christian Andersen The Legend of the Pale Maiden by Aleksis Kivi Looking Glass House by Lewis Carroll Furnica, or the Queen of the Ants by Carmen Sylva The Story of Iv n the Fool by Leo Tolstoy The Goophered Grapevine by Charles W Chestnutt The Bee Man of Orn by Frank R Stockton The Remarkable Rocket by Oscar Wilde The Ensouled Violin by H P Blavatsky The Death of Odjigh by Marcel Schwob The Terrestrial Fire by Marcel Schwob The Kingdom of Cards by Rabindranath Tagore The Other Side by Count Eric Stanlislaus Stenbock The Fulness of Life by Edith Wharton Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady by Vernon Lee The Little Room by Madeline Yale Wynne The Plattner Story by H G Wells The Princess Baladina Her Adventure by Willa Cather The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame Iktomi Stories by Zitkala a Marionettes by Louis Fr chette Dance of the Comets by Paul Scheerbart The White People by Arthur Machen Blamol by Gustav Meyrink Goblins by Louis Fr chette Sowbread by Grazia Deledda The Angry Street A Bad Dream by G K Chesterton The Aunt and Amabel by E Nesbit Sacrifice by Aleksey Remizov The Princess Steel by W E B Du Bois The Hump by Fern n Caballero The Celestial Omnibus by E M Forster The Legend of the Ice Babies by E Pauline Johnson The Last Redoubt by William Hope Hodgson Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse by L Frank Baum The Plant Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs Strange News from Another Star by Hermann Hesse The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka The Hoard of the Gibbelins by Lord Dunsany Through the Dragon Glass by A Merritt David Blaize and the Blue Door by E F Benson The Big Bestiary of Modern Literature by Franz Blei The Alligator War by Horatio Quiroga Friend Island by Francis Stevens Magic Comes to a Committee by Stella Benson Gramophone of the Ages by Yefim Zozulya Joiwind by David Lindsay Sound in the Mountain by Maurice Renard Sennin by Ry nosuke Akutagawa The Worm Ouroboros by E R Eddison At the Border by Der Nister The Marvelous Exploits of Paul Bunyan by William B Laughead Talkative Domovoi by Aleksandr Grin The Ratcatcher by Aleksandr Grin The Shadow Kingdom by Robert E Howard The Man Traveling with the Brocade Portrait by Edogawa Ranpo A Visit to the Museum by Vladimir Nabokov The Water Sprite s Tale by Karel apek The Capital of Cat Country by Lao She Coyote Stories by Mourning Dove Uncle Monday by Zora Neale Hurston Rose Cold, Moon Skater by Mar a Teresa Le n A Night of the High Season by Bruno Schulz The Influence of the Sun by Fernand Dumont The Town of Cats by Hagiwara Sakutar The Debutante by Leonora Carrington The Jewels in the Forest by Fritz Leiber Evening Primrose by John Collier The Coming of the White Worm by Clark Ashton Smith The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls by Marcel Aym Leaf by Niggle by J R R Tolkien

  7. Joel Mitchell says:

    Having read and greatly enjoyed Ann Jeff VanderMeer s massive anthology entitled The Weird, I jumped at the chance to review another one of their tomes This volume collects classic fantasy stories and excerpts from longer books ranging in date from the early 1800 s up until World War II when fantasy became of a defined genre The blend of authors includes classic fantasy sci fi weird writers, classic literary legends dabbling in the fantastical, and many authors less known to the English speaking world.The editors most basic definition of fantasy is any story in which an element of the unreal permeates the real world or any story that takes place within a secondary world that is identifiably not a version of ours, whether anything overtly fantastical occurs during the story This allows for a wide variety of stories, very few of which fall into high fantasy, swords sorcery, or other popular modern sub genres.A large number of the stories have a folklore, fairy tale, or tall tale feel with all the incoherencies and random digressions common to them Quite a few are unclassifiable other than to say that they contain a fantastical element maybe magic realism or surrealism Some are didactic like beast fables or political satire that dips into the fantastical A few I would classify solidly in the weird horror or pulp sci fi categories rather than fantasy, but such things are always a matter of opinion.Overall, the editors have produced an interesting blend of the fantastical How much you enjoy it may depend on your taste and how willing you are to give fantasy an extremely broad definition Personally, I like a fairly coherent story even when I read fantasy, so the high number of folkloric tales, surreal stories, and small excerpts from longer books sometimes got on my nerves However, if you re into fantastical stories or fantasy before there was a fantasy genre this book is well worth your time.

  8. HollyLovesBooks says:

    This is an incredible collection of fantasy works throughout several periods in literature This is probably the largest file I have ever received from NetGalley, so when the title says Big Book you can believe it.I was impressed with the scientific approach to determining what to include in this collection The first thing was to define fey which the authors were clear about stating that there is a fluidity in the definition over time What intrigued me the most about their process was the use of what I envisioned as a mathematical chart or graph where they charted what they called the rate of fey This describes a work by the degree in which it involves fantasy or a fantastical element I thought this was a clever and interesting method of looking at this genre and examining which works to include in a collection I also enjoyed the varied authors, many were known to me as a modest fantasy reader rather than solo fantasy reader What surprised me, and I appreciate that they did purposefully, was to include works that were either lesser known by well known fantasy writers as well as surprise me with writers that I knew from other genres who had written some fantasy as well Most of these works are from the English originally but I appreciated the inclusion of the newly translated works from around the world as well I love to have the opportunity to read work from a different cultural perspective Fantasy will often give an interesting insight into these cultures that differs from other works of literature.Highly recommend BigBookofClassicFantasy NetGalley.

  9. Mike says:

    Firstly, let s be clear when the editors call this a big book, they re not kidding around It s enormous Classic fantasy here extends from the late 18th to the mid 20th century, and the stories and excerpts from novels are arranged chronologically, so patterns emerge naturally as you read through The early stories are not what we think of as short stories today they re narrations of a series of events, and the characters are barely characters at all, just names with a couple of qualities attached They tend not to drive the story particularly they respond to events, but they aren t true protagonists By the mid to late 19th century, things have settled down, and writers have figured out plot and character pretty much as we know them today, though both continue to be enriched and refined over the following years Until, that is, the early 20th century, when various experimental writers take things in new directions directions that mostly proved unfruitful, I have to say The modernist pieces are, to my ear, overwritten, repetitious, slow moving and excessively descriptive at the expense of plot and character We are back where we started in some ways plots replaced by a series of events, characters replaced by names and vague qualities, effective protagonism largely absent Then comes the pulp era, and things pick up again for my taste The descriptions can still be a bit over rich, but we have characters with goals driving plots to a satisfying conclusion The characters can still be a bit thin, but they demonstrate their thoughts and feelings in action rather than reflection The collection ends with a Tolkien story, Leaf by Niggle, which, like most of the better known pieces, I d read before, but which I very much enjoyed re reading There s a mixture of very well known classics, starting with Poe s The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar, with obscure pieces and authors, some of them originally written in other languages and here in English for, in many cases, the first time As with other anthologies that attempt this kind of thing, I sometimes felt that the pieces had deserved their obscurity, though there were one or two gems For example, before I d even finished reading the excerpt from Living Alone, I went and downloaded the whole book from Project Gutenberg and read it before continuing with this book The charming voice that had drawn me to it turned out to be its greatest, almost its only, strength, but I was glad to have discovered it I did skip a couple of stories in whole or in part I d read Kafka s Metamorphosis before, a long time ago, and had no particular desire to re read it and one of the stories became so tedious that I eventually skipped ahead to the next one I considered doing this with several others, as well Parts of the book I found a slog see above about overwriting and deserved obscurity I suspect that this anthology is intended largely as a textbook, like the Norton anthologies that we had when I studied English at university As a textbook, it provides a lot of fine material for analysis it s deliberately wide ranging, bringing in examples of many literary movements from multiple countries, while not neglecting the well known English and American classics As a straight read through for entertainment, it s uneven, and sometimes, for my taste, not enjoyable at all But it s certainly a monumental effort by the editors, and I commend their ambition, even if I didn t love every part of the result.

  10. Ralph Blackburn says:

    The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, Ann and Jeff Vander Meer Ed As they did with the Big Book of Science Fiction, the Vander Meer s have fashioned a large volume of early classical fantasies Not much swords and sorcery here, no Conan, no Elric, just as it states, classic fantasies of the likes of Washington Irving, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe and many Also early fairy tales from different countries around the world add a new dimension to the classic tale It s a really big book No I didn t read everything, I was interested in the strange and obscure foreign tales I d never heard of and some of the well know authors works that I had missed growing up But even cherry picking a list of these stories offers a wide range of tales and something to go back to again and again for new discovery Recommended for the fantastic

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