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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780982991305
Publisher: Pink Narcissus Press
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Pages: 302
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)

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Elf Love 1.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
PaperCrystals on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm pretty sure this book review is going to end up NSF work, mothers, grandmothers, little sisters, the innocent, the easily offended, people who think fairies are a nice version of Tinkerbell, and people who think fairies are everything Terry Prachett says of them in one of my favorite Discworld quotes: Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder. Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels. Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies. Elves are glamorous. They project glamour. Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment. Elves are terrific. They beget terror. The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning. No one ever said elves are nice. Elves are bad. --Lords and Ladies, Terry PrachettThis quote encompasses everything I believe about elves and fairies and all the Goodly Folk. Sometimes I half believe in them. I certainly would be more willing to believe in Fairy than aliens. No one can deny that I adore elves. The only plastic surgery I would remotely consider is having my ears pointed (don't worry, mom, I would never actually do that). I've been reading fairy tales, urban fantasy, and regular fantasy for longer than I can remember.All of that said, I was mildly skeptical when I requested this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers. The cover is lurid and sensationalistic, but since I seek out urban fantasy, it seemed like something I should try. Really, when good elf stories are hard to come by, one must look where one can. Well. Shall we begin?Given that this is an advance reader edition of the book, I can hope that the misspelling of J.R.R. Tolkien's last name in the dedication and the typo in the sentence thanking the copy editor will be fixed by the time the official print run is completed. There were several other typographical errors and misspellings that I noticed, but by far, those were the most grievous offenses....but on to the stories. The introduction states that they hope to "defy the boundaries of genre" and publish fantasy that "doesn't suck." This sets the bar high: a lot of fantasy does, in fact, suck, and the boundaries of the fantasy genre are so wide as to be nearly all-encompassing. I was curious as to how they intended to accomplish these goals when I dove into the first story.The first two were nothing special- both themes I've seen done over and over again in fantasy and horror. The third... without giving anything away, the third is a giant set-up for a one-liner at the end. A very well-known one-liner. I groaned, and not in amusement. More at the waste of my time.But I continued on, working my way through more short stories. There seemed to be a running theme in the author blurbs about how they threw together their story so quickly- and this is something they state with pride. Revision would really have been their friend. Believe me.For all the desire to defy boundaries, they never even approached sight of them, so deep in the heart of stereotypical elf fiction they remained. There was a great deal of gender ambiguity to- I think- prove a point about stereotypes, but even the attempts couldn't disguise the gender or what the writer was trying for. A lot of non-heterotypical relationships, to prove how open-minded and better elves are. (Except when it comes to half breed elves- then their prejudice comes out full force.) A lot of vulgar language that, in most cases, seemed forced and unnecessary. If it jolts me (a reader used to such language) out of the story, I'm going to think the author was shoving it in there like a teenager hell-bent on scandalizing the staid adults around him.And don't forget to toss in a story about how people who game online can't interact with others in real life!But sometimes you can find a gem hidden in the offal- and this would be To Kill The Oak King by Rose Mambert. Courtly intrigue, rebellion, and betrayal
GeraniumCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hmm, this was a mistake, I think - that'll teach me to request books I'm not sure about. You get used to covers that mislead, and I hoped this one (which I don't like) might, but there was indeed way too much sex for me. That said, some of the stories are quite good - I thought "Tidings of Comfort and Joy" was original and interesting, and the graphic story was quite attractive and thoughtful, but too many of the others rely on a mock-heroic series of names, or on intentionally shocking quantities of blood and violence, for effect. Some are disconcertingly short. Duncan Eagleson's take on Chandler looked promising but failed to live up to my hopes. Disappointing.
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was a little uncertain about requesting this book from Early Reviewers. I enjoy a good fantasy story, and themed anthologies can be fun, but the title and the rather lurid cover did make me wonder whether the contents were likely to consist of schmoopy supernatural romance, or possibly softcore elf-fetish porn, neither of which holds much appeal for me. I felt greatly reassured, though, when I read the introduction, in which one of the editors writes, "A talented author sees a theme like that and says, 'That will be terrible unless...'" Which seems to me to be exactly the right attitude to take towards this kind of topic; that "unless" holds the possibility for generating all kinds of creative and worthwhile ideas. And the authors represented here do mostly seem to have taken that kind of approach and gone looking for non-traditional angles on the subjects of elves and love. There's lots of modern-day settings here, lots of alternative sexuality, lots of little idea-based stories... However, most of the contributors seem to be first-time or relatively inexperienced writers, and I'm afraid it does show. Generally, the stories aren't bad, and a several of them are quite pleasant reads, but almost none of them feels truly, completely satisfying. There are stories with interesting ideas that aren't fleshed out fully, and, conversely, ones with ideas too slight to sustain a whole story without some extra spark that just isn't there. There are decent premises executed in adequate but unengaging prose, and one piece that has lovely prose but is so obscurely written that it's impossible to tell what it's actually about. There are stories that are trying a little too hard to be dark and gritty, or attempting to do social commentary with too heavy a hand, or both at once. One of the best-written stories seems to exist mainly to lead up to a surprise ending that contains no surprise whatsoever. Another is a noir-ish detective pastiche that's rather delightful, until the realization sets in that it really just inelegantly and rather pointlessly grafts elves onto a hardboiled detective tale that would have been better off without them. (And according to the author's note, in which he confesses to essentially lifting the plot from someone else's novel, probably was.) And so on.Bottom line: It's better than it looks, but not nearly as good as it could be.
paeonia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book disappointing. I agree with previous reviewers who found the premise intriguing but the execution lacking. Some of the writers show promise, but none of them managed to rise above the mediocre. More stringent editing might have eliminated some of the glaring grammatical errors that marred the text.
Capfox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was painful. Look, it's a small-press anthology, and my expectations were really essentially for something that would be all right, maybe cute, mostly forgettable, and I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. That this came down on the disappointing still, despite these limited expectations, is unfortunate, I'd say. I'm glad that the people who contributed to this sounded like they were having fun, and I think some of the pieces may have been improved with some more revision and work, but some of them (Elvis was the heir to an elf kingdom? The real provenance of fairy dust?) were probably never going to go anywhere, and others probably maxed out the limited value of the particular stories they wanted to tell. There are a couple of good stories in here; I liked To Kill the Oak King, for example. But that said, it's hard to tell if that story was good in its own right, or if it was good in the context of the other stories around it.I don't like going on and ripping books when I don't feel I have anything intelligent to say about them that I can't sum up easily, so let's leave it at this: I would be remarkably surprised if it turned out this wasn't the worst book I read this year. I wish these people luck in the future, but there it is.