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Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction

Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction

4.3 8
by Sharyn November, Louise Marley, Nick O'Donohoe, Nancy Farmer, Elizabeth Wein

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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 Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Firebirds Series , #3
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Over the past twenty-four years, Nina Kiriki Hoffman has sold novels, juvenile and media tie-in books, short story collections, and more than two hundred short stories. Her works have been finalists for the Nebula, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, Sturgeon, and Endeavour awards. Her first novel, The Thread That Binds the Bones, won a Stoker Award. Nina's YA novel Spirits that Walk in Shadow and her science fiction novel Catalyst were published in 2006. Her fantasy novel Fall of Light will be published by Ace Books in May.

Lousie Marley, a performer of classical music, is the author of several novels including The Terrorists of Irustan and The Glass Harmonica, which was the co-winner (with Ursula LeGuin’s Tales from Earthsea) of the 2001 Endeavor Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science Fiction or Fantasy. She lives in Redmond, Washington with her husband and son.

Ellen Klages was born a in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Philosophy.

“It teaches you to ask questions and think logically, which are useful skills for just about any job.” she says. “But when I looked in the Want Ads under P, no philosophers. I’ve been a pinball mechanic, a photographer, and done paste-up for a printer.

“I’ve lived in San Francisco most of my adult life. The city wears its past in layers, glimpses of other eras visible on every street. I love to look through old newspapers and photos, trying to piece together its stories.

“I was at the Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum, working as proofreader, when they were looking for a science writer to do a children’s science activity book. No science background, but I convinced my boss that in order to ‘translate’ from a PhD physicist, I had to ask lots of questions, just like a curious kid. I got the job.

“My desk was covered with baking soda, Elmer’s glue, balloons, soap bubbles, and dozens of other common objects that became experiments, and the office echoed with the ‘Science-at-Home’ team saying, ‘Wow! Look at this!’

“My co-writer, Pat Murphy, a science-fiction author, encouraged me to write stories of my own. I’ve now sold more than a dozen. “Basement Magic,” a fairy tale set at the beginning of the Space Age, won the Nebula Award in 2005.

The Green Glass Sea is not science fiction, but it is fiction about science. And history and curiosity.”

Ellen Klages lives in San Francisco. The Green Glass Sea is her first novel.

Nancy Springer has published forty novels for adults, young adults and children. In a career beginning shortly after she graduated from Gettysburg College in 1970, Springer wrote for ten years in the imaginary realms of mythological fantasy, then ventured on contemporary fantasy, magical realism, and women's fiction before turning her attention to children's literature. Her novels and stories for middle-grade and young adults range from contemporary realism, mystery/crime, and fantasy to her critically acclaimed novels based on the Arthurian mythos, I AM MORDRED: A TALE OF CAMELOT and I AM MORGAN LE FAY. Springer's children's books have won her two Edgar Allan Poe awards, a Carolyn W. Field award, various Children's Choice honors and numerous ALA Best Book listings. Her most recent series include the Tales of Rowan Hood, featuring Robin Hood’s daughter, and the Enola Holmes mysteries, starring the much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes.

Ms. Springer lives in East Berlin, Pennsylvania.

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a
university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother.

Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western
Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. In 1980, when Yolen
was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that "throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration--folk culture." Folklore is the "perfect second skin," writes Yolen. "From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." Folklore, she believes, is the universal human
language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts.

All of Yolen's stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen's relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr's exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband's interest in birding.

Yolen's graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children's Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society's
Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children's Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa,
Portuguese, and Braille.

With a versatility that has led her to be called "America's Hans Christian Andersen," Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best
explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: "I don't care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told."

copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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