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NAKED CITY edited by HWA Member Ellen Datlow

Posted by Dark Whisperer on July 5, 2011

Editor: Ellen Datlow
Full title: Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy

In Jim Butcher’s “Curses” Harry Dresden investigates how to lift a curse laid by the Fair Folk on the Chicago Cubs. In Patricia Briggs’ “Fairy Gifts,” a vampire is called home by magic to save the Fae who freed him from a dark curse. In Melissa Marr’s “Guns for the Dead,” the newly dead Frankie Lee seeks a job in the afterlife on the wrong side of the law. In Holly Black’s “Noble Rot,” a dying rock star discovers that the young woman who brings him food every day has some strange appetites of her own.

Featuring original stories from 20 authors, this dark, captivating, fabulous and fantastical collection is not to be missed!

Table of Contents:

    Curses by Jim Butcher
    How the Pooka Came To New York City by Delia Sherman
    On the Slide by Richard Bowes
    The Duke of Riverside by Ellen Kushner
    Oblivion by Calvin Klein by Christopher Fowler
    Fairy Gifts by Patricia Briggs
    Picking up the Pieces by Pat Cadigan
    Underbridge by Peter S. Beagle
    Priced To Sell by Naomi Novik
    The Bricks of Gelecek by Matthew Kressel
    Weston Walks by Kit Reed
    The Projected Girl by Lavie Tidhar
    The Way Station by Nathan Ballingrud
    Guns for the Dead by Melissa Marr
    And Go Like This by John Crowley
    Noble Rot by Holly Black
    Daddy Long Legs of the Evening by Jeffrey Ford
    The Skinny Girl by Lucius Shepard
    The Colliers’ Venus by Caitlín R. Kiernan
    King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree by Elizabeth Bear

Datlow (Digital Domains) adds to her already lengthy list of impressive anthology credits with this compilation of 20 original stories from some of the best-known names in urban fantasy. For newbies, her short but informative intro clearly lays out the boundaries of these works, which combine “the often-dark edge of city living with enticing worlds of magic.” Jim Butcher’s “Curses,” a humorous short story linked to his Dresden Files series, is a nice change of pace from his increasingly grim novels. Ellen Kushner’s “The Duke of Riverside” gives the origins of the romance between Alec and St. Vier, heroes of her novel Swordspoint. Lavie Tidhar’s “The Projected Girl,” set in Haifa, Israel, features a boy’s search for the truth behind a legendary magic trick. Other notable contributors include Lucius Shepard, Patricia Briggs, and Melissa Marr. –Publishers Weekly

This anthology of short fiction affords a superb sampling of urban fantasy, that popular sf/fantasy subgenre defined in the book’s introduction (which, in all of three pages, is a welcome and helpful, to say nothing of articulate, definition of this subgenre) as a combination of the “often-dark edge of city living with enticing worlds of magic”—with an urban landscape being absolutely crucial to the story. To put it another way (as also expressed in the introduction, that is), “where the story takes place should matter, in some way, to the story.” –Booklist starred review

Naked City definitely contains some of the best urban fantasy stories which I have had the pleasure of reading in a long while, and I fully expect that this anthology will be showing up in the nomination lists for next year’s round of awards. –The Green Man Review

St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 5


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