Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful edited by Paula Guran
A bewitching brew of stories sure to enchant.
Surrounded by the aura of magic, witches have captured our imaginations for millennia and fascinate us now more than ever. No longer confined to the image of a hexing old crone, witches can be kindly healers and protectors, tough modern urban heroines, holders of forbidden knowledge, sweetly domestic spellcasters, darkly domineering, sexy enchantresses, ancient sorceresses, modern Wiccans, empowered or persecuted, possessors of supernatural abilities that can be used for good or evil—or perhaps only perceived as such. Welcome to the world of witchery in many guises: wicked, wild, and wonderful. Includes two original, never-published stories.
Content (alphabetically by author):
“The Cold Blacksmith” by Elizabeth Bear
“The Ground Whereon She Stands” by Lean Bobet
“The Witch’s Headstone” by Neil Gaiman
“Lessons with Miss Gray” by Theodora Goss
“The Only Way to Fly” by Nancy Holder
“Basement Magic” by Ellen Klages
“Nightside” by Mercedes Lackey
“April in Paris” by Ursula K. Le Guin
“The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan
“Mirage and Magia” by Tanith Lee
“Poor Little Saturday” by Madeleine L’Engle
“Catskin” by Kelly Link
“Bloodlines” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
“The Way Wind” by Andre Norton
“Skin Deep” by Richard Parks
“Ill Met in Ulthar” by T.A. Pratt (original)
“Marlboros & Magic” by Linda Robertson (original)
“Walpurgis Afternoon” by Delia Sherman
"The World Is Cruel, My Daughter" by Cory Skerry
“The Robbery” by Cynthia Ward
“Afterward” by Don Webb
“Magic Carpets” by Leslie What
“Boris Chernevsky’s Hands” by Jane Yolen
REVIEWS Library Journal:
The arrival of two eccentric women in a straight-laced, “historic” neighborhood causes unexpected changes in Delia Sherman’s comic tale of witchery (“Walpurgis Afternoon”), while Kelly Link offers a look at witchcraft’s dark side in “Catskin.” The 23 tales gathered here feature a wide variety of magic wielders, from the witches of Andre Norton’s “Witch World” series (“The Way Wind”) to Elizabeth Bear’s story of a blacksmith who works magic through his forge (“The Cold Blacksmith”). Other contributors include Tanith Lee, Mercedes Lackey, Richard Parks, Neil Gaiman, and Jane Yolen. VERDICT Fans of stories involving witches as well as those who enjoy well-told fantasy should appreciate the strength of this themed collection.
Witches are familiar characters in horror and fantasy fiction, their personalities being quite versatile, ranging from the wicked hag casting evil spells to the wise woman providing healing remedies and precious advise, from the old bitch to the young and sexy temptress (of course, witches are mostly females, warlocks being much less popular) Renowned editor Paula Guran has assembled a veritable literary “encyclopedia” about witches, featuring twenty-three stories which explore the various aspects of witchcraft...whether you’re a witch lover or not, I’m sure you will love this superlative anthology.
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