Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction

Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction

4.5 8
by Sharyn November, Louise Marley, Nick O'Donohoe, Nancy Farmer, Sherwood Smith

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First Firebirds. Then Firebirds Rising. Now there is Firebirds Soaring, the third anthology of original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. These authors, including Nancy Farmer (The Sea of Trolls), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Margo Lanagan (Black Juice), and Jane Yolen (The


First Firebirds. Then Firebirds Rising. Now there is Firebirds Soaring, the third anthology of original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. These authors, including Nancy Farmer (The Sea of Trolls), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Margo Lanagan (Black Juice), and Jane Yolen (The Devil's Arithmetic), have brought new worlds and Old Magic to life in nineteen remarkable pieces of short fiction. Mike Dringenberg, co-creator of Sandman with Neil Gaiman, contributes decorative vignettes. Firebirds Soaring?like Firebirds and Firebirds Rising'sets the standard for short fiction for teenagers and adult fans of the genre.

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
With all original tales and not a weak entry in the bunch, here is an excellent addition to the rich, label-defying canon of speculative fiction.
VOYA - Ann Welton
The Firebird anthology lives up to the quality of the first two volumes, with eighteen short stories and one novella that cover the range of science fiction, fantasy, and entirely believable but odd realistic fiction. In Nancy Farmer's A Ticket To Ride, a miserable young boy escapes foster care for life on a train that takes him from place to place in an old tramp's past - and then back to the library from which he departed - to connect with the tramp. It is all about the ticket. Flatland by Kara Dalkey takes a look at life in a virtual world, where the trendiest young people work 24/7 to create fads. When Appamattox Kim is confronted with a machine that could create a sense of ecstacy, thus increasing work production, she realizes that she must get her company to turn down the idea. Nina Kiriki Hoffman's novella, The Ghosts of Strangers, is a delicate, almost contemplative treatment of how a young adept deals with both dragons and the needs of the dead. Skillfully plotted, with three-dimensional characterization, it is an excellent treatment of the topics of understanding and courage. Finally Jo Walton's Three Twilight Tales creates a scene of magic and romance that actually casts a spell. The reader does not want to leave her world. This broad, sound collection of stories covers multiple facets of current speculative fiction. It is an excellent addition to most high school and public library collections. Reviewer: Ann Welton
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

This anthology, the third volume in the series, contains 19 short stories by some of the top writers in this genre. Nancy Springer opens the volume with a story of a precocious young princess with a gift of discernment who unearths the controlling power of the moon goddess hidden in a golden ring. Nancy Farmer takes readers on a magical train ride into eternity. Margo Lanagan's "Ferryman" reveals the dark and dreary life of the boatman of the dead, while Jane Yolen and Adam Semple offer up the brutal, very adult retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" as a sexually abused young woman who copes with her pain by cutting herself and disappearing into a fantasy world. The selections vary in length, with some short stories, some novellas. Each work is introduced by an evocative illustration that beautifully sets the scene for the written work. The variety of styles and themes and a gathering together of so many talented writers in one work offer readers a banquet for the imagination. For fans of the genre, this is a must read.-Debra Banna, Sharon Public Library, MA

Kirkus Reviews
This follow-up to Firebirds Rising (2006) will hold great appeal for fantasy fans who don't mind exchanging their epics for short stories. From the lush and lyrical to the minimalist, soaring is exactly what these stories do, taking the reader through unexplored lands of the fantastic, well beyond wizards, vampires and faeries. Some stories are clearly rooted in fantasy legends, like Nina Kiriki Hoffman's flowing centerpiece, "The Ghosts of Strangers." Others, like Carol Emshwiller's "The Dignity He's Due," employ some characterizations and settings that step just beyond reality, satisfying those who can't get enough of the urban fantasy genre. Each story includes an author's note for further information. Traditional themes in YA literature, including romance, deception and family relations, drive the stories. Both acclaimed and lesser-known authors are included, so readers who pick this up because they recognize a favorite author's name may discover new favorites. (Short stories/fantasy. YA)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.89(d)
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

History of Sartorias-deles\ series as well as the modern-day fantasy adventures of Kim Murray in Coronets and Steel. Learn more at

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Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
sacred_honor More than 1 year ago
Having read Sharyn November's two other anthologies, FIREBIRDS and FIREBIRDS RISING (which included excellent examples of fantasy and science fictional works), I was somewhat disappointed by the works offered in FIREBIRDS SOARING. The selection of authors was varied and well-chosen, the works all original, and the quality of writing (for the most part) up to the standards of the genre. However, a noticeable recurring theme was the hurried conclusion of many of the tales, sometimes without linear rationale. Furthermore, a number of the stories were rather confusing. Some redeeming factors were the characters of Marly Youmans' POWER AND MAGIC, which were well-developed, and Elizabeth E. Wein's SOMETHING WORTH DOING, perhaps my favorite story in the anthology. What is interesting to note about this particular book, in comparison to the other anthologies offered by November, is that it is comprised of "speculative fiction" instead of relying only on fantasy and science fiction. Overall, however, the book was enjoyable, though I had expected something a bit more. If you're interested in reading a collection of well-written works for leisure, purchasing this anthology is "something worth doing."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
About: WaterTribe dragons (part of the Cold Warriors Kingdom) <p> SoaringRain: <br> They are dark grey, dark blue, dark green, and black. They have rain drop shaped scales, and, on their wings, drops of water fall out from underneath these scales. They have no weapons other than biting and clawwing. They hace large wings. <p> SoaringSea: <br> They are sea blue and dark green, with gills and powerful tails. They can breath underwater as well as on land, they do not swim fast. They can shoot boiling water in your face. <p> SoaringRiver: <br> They are blue and black and white striped with white underbellies, and swim so fast that they blend in with the rocks below them. They are more streamline than SoaringRain or SoaringSea, but, they cannot breath on land.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sighs. Okay
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book but i didnt understand the first book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the few anthologies I can read cover to cover not skipping any stories. Best in the series.
Silent-but-Deadly More than 1 year ago
This anthology had everything an appreciatiative reader could ask for! It's stories went from something sad yet hopeful, like The Dignity He's Due by Carol Emshwiller, to something mystical like The Ghosts of Strangers by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. I say that EVERYONE should either check this book out at you're local library or but it! It's worth Every Single Penny!! Take it from me, you do not want to pass on this piece of work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago