Twenty-two stories from 2000 and a 1998 novella from Terry Goodkind. Favorites:
‘Chanterelle” – Brian Stableford – A riff on Hansel and Gretel. A couple name their son Handsel. When his mother gives birth to a daughter she names her Chanterelle which means nightingale. Because of the fairy tale they did not want to name her Gretel. One day the father dies and the mother takes the kids to a village where her father lives. A plague wiped out her family and her father is now nuts and roams the woods. She decides to go find him leaving the kids behind. After time goes by and she doesn’t return the kids decide to head into the woods to find her. Their adventure begins.
“The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-o” – Michael Swanwick – Crow and his girlfriend Annie wander the country. Sounds innocent until you read about what they really are and the bizarre events they get involved in.
“The Devil Disinvests” – Scott Bradfield – Fun story about how the devil had massive layoffs of his staff and told his CEO that he was going to live the life of a California suburbanite.
“The Golden Bell, Seven And The Marquis Of Zeng”- Richard Parks. – Very entertaining. A young man named Seven falls far a girl named Jai Jen. He saw her being carried in a parade and finds out she’s a gift to the dieing Marquis. Her fate is to be strangled so she can accompany him to the afterlife. A spirit guardian of the tomb tells Seven that in order to save her he has to go to the mountains and find a lady named Golden Bell. It’ll be costly.
“”Making A Noise In This World” – Charles DeLint – An American Indian who uses Crow as a tag when he paints boxcars comes across the body of a tribal member. He’s another victim of an Indian hating policeman. Indians on the rez are routinely abused by several members of the force especially one named Tom McGurk. Crow vows revenge but finds out there’s another way to be a warrior.
“Magic, Maples And Maryanne” – Robert Sheckley – A man who dabbles in magic shows his boss how he can duplicate whatever he wants. The boss gets some friends of his together and they invest in the man’s talents. This is a fun story.
“The Window” – Zoran Zivkovick – A man dies and is given a chance to return. He can choose to be a human, a plant, an animal, anything he wants. He can only do this once. A painting of a window will help him make up his mind, This is really absorbing.
“And Still She Sleeps” – Greg Costikyan – An archeological dig in northern England discovers the eleven centuries old body of a woman. She’s still breathing and is the victim of a spell. This has a lot of fun with the sleeping beauty story.
Other authors: John Sullivan, Nicola Griffith, Storm Constantine, George R.R.Martin, Sarah Singleton, Joel Lane, Nalo Hopkinson, Naomi Kitzer, Simon Brown & Alison Tokley, Kain Massin, Sherwood Smith, Renee Bennett, Don Webb, Gene Wolfe and Terry Goodkind.