Shimmering Door: Tales of Sorcery

Overview

FROM THE LEADERS OF FANTASTIC FICTION, stories that travel beyond THE SHIMMERING DOOR...

Open and enter...

Every age has known shamans and sorcerers-- including our own. Katharine Kerr's magical collection brings together some of the finest writers in fantasy to examine the world of spellcasters.

Contributors include:Kate Elliot * Lisa Mason Simon IngsEsther Friesner * Dennis...

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Overview

FROM THE LEADERS OF FANTASTIC FICTION, stories that travel beyond THE SHIMMERING DOOR...

Open and enter...

Every age has known shamans and sorcerers-- including our own. Katharine Kerr's magical collection brings together some of the finest writers in fantasy to examine the world of spellcasters.

Contributors include:Kate Elliot * Lisa Mason Simon IngsEsther Friesner * Dennis McKiernanDiana Paxson Charles de LintLawrence Watt-Evans Nina Kiriki HoffmanGregory Feeley Mike Resnickand many others

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Donna L. Scanlon
Kerr packs thirty-two short stories by many of fantasy's best authors into this themed anthology about "sorcerers and shamans, witches and warlocks, enchanters and spell-casters, magicians and mages." The anthology is divided into three sections corresponding with the "morning," "afternoon," and "evening" of a sorcerer's life. The organization of the stories within each section is close to flawless; the transition from one story to the next is so smooth that it is difficult to put the book down. The quality of the stories is consistently high, and the tales reflect a range of emotional responses as well as a broad spectrum of fantasy sub-genres, from cyberpunk to urban fantasy to mythology to high fantasy, and every variation in between. While the primary target is the fantasy reader who will be familiar with authors such as Lawrence Watt-Evans, Diana Paxson, Esther Friesner and Josepha Sherman, mainstream readers will find that the stories resonate on many levels. "La Curandera" by Margaret Ball and "Birds" by Charles de Lint are not just about a magical response to child abuse; they explore the universal search for a strong inner sense of self. Lawrence Schimel's "Family Ties" is about more than a quest for revenge; the narrator discovers how love can blind one to the faults and failings of others. The understated yet attractive cover is mostly black with an opening door in the upper left hand corner, and will appeal to a wide audience. Readers from a variety of backgrounds will find common ground in this spellbinding collection. VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Will appeal with pushing, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Library Journal
This collection features 32 never-before- published sorcery stories from leading fantasy writers, among them Jo Clayton, Dennis L. McKiernan, and Janet Berliner.
Kirkus Reviews
A veteran fantasy writer's (Freeze Frames, 1995, etc.) anthology of 32 contemporary, original, mostly American stories. Greek myth is well-represented, with tales such as Susan Shwartz's feminist "Hunters," about Artemis' tragic love affair with a mortal, and Esther M. Friesner's amusing if overlong "Tea," about a lustful male aerobics instructor on a cruise ship who finds himself in the middle of a parlor squabble between Circe, Medea, and Prospero. Many efforts here draw upon reserves of deep sorrow: M. John Harrison's "Seven Guesses of the Heart," for example, concerns the inability of magic to comfort a grieving father, and Gregory Feeley's "The Drowning Cell" is a sad story about a girl connecting with a boy who, centuries ago, drowned in a debtors' prison. Alternatively, the boy may be only an imaginary playmate, but, in any case, experiencing his sadness enables the girl to free herself of her own troubles. "I just can't believe in a world where everything is run by science," says the main character in Connie Hirsch's amusing romp, "Wicked Cool," which might be a manifesto for fantasy writers; most of these pieces feature some sort of "magick"—in Hirsch's case, not always the magick of the Old Religion, since her witches fly around contemporary Boston on broomsticks. Mark Kreighbaum's overtitled "Looking in the Heart of Light, the Silence," however, convincingly evokes the allure of the black arts: Two practitioners play out a foreordained scenario on a gloomy winter night in Minneapolis, intoning a series of powerful spells. Magick becomes bittersweet in Karawynn Long's clever commentary on the abortion debate, "Riddle in Nine Syllables," in which a high-school girlinvokes a medieval spell to induce a miscarriage in her friend, only to find herself carrying the fetus.

Not flawless, but nearly so.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737271805
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/11/1999
  • Pages: 434

Table of Contents

Introduction
Water Patterns 3
Water Everywhere 17
La Curandera 27
The Bloodstone 41
Riddle in Nine Syllables 53
Wicked Cool 77
The Sorcerer's Apprentice 93
The String Game 95
The Kin of Rig 109
Family Ties 121
The Voice of a God 127
The Drowning Cell 139
A Time for Heroes 153
Dance of the Python 177
Mrs. Langdon's Diary 191
One Late Night, with Jackal 205
Dead and Gone 213
The Hanged Man 227
The Silicon Sword 241
Tea 251
Wall Street Wizards 275
Swallow 281
The Most Beautiful Girl Alive 293
Birds 313
Dust and Sand 325
Looking into the Heart of Light, The Silence 341
A Simple Act of Kindness 349
The Peachwood Flute 367
The Tenth Painting 381
A Wreath of Pale Flowers for Vitri 395
Hunters 409
Seven Guesses of the Heart 419
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