Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Songs of Love and Death Edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Songs of Love and Death: All Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love Edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Completion Date: February 13, 2012
Reason for Reading: Fun!
IN this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a postapocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth- century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate. 
Featuring stories by New York Times bestselling romance authors Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, and by such legends of the fantasy genre as Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee, as well as many other popular writers, including Marjorie M. Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, and Robin Hobb. This exquisite anthology, crafted by the peerless editing team of George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is sure to leave you under its spell.
I must say that I was very impressed with this short story collection. I tend to get bored, but there were no stories at all that disinterested me. They were all well-written and entirely deserved their spot in this collection. I thought I would post it as a special Valentine's Day feature.

'Love Hurts' by Jim Butcher - Read January 30, 2012
The collection starts off with a short story set in the world Butcher has created for his famous series The Dresden Files. I am a bit worried I spoiled part of the series for myself, but I am sure it wasn't too major and by the time I get to that part of the series I will have forgotten anyway. This story centres around Harry Dresden and Murphy, his police contact. This story involves mind control and love. A vast majority of the story takes place at a fair. Overall an enjoyable story. I really need to read more Jim Butcher.

'The Marrying Maid' by Jo Beverly - Read January 31, 2012
This story was perfectly timed after reading 'A Midsummer's Night Dream' earlier this month. It is basically a retelling of the famous play with fairies and some interesting twists. It is basically a romance story, but not entirely what you would expect. As someone that quite enjoys the elements of fairies I enjoyed this story more than I expected to. The story played out a bit weirdly, but it all makes sense by the end. Recommended.

'Rooftops' by Carrie Vaughn - Read February 1, 2012
I did read the first Kitty Norville book by Vaughn, but in amongst all my other series it sort of got lost. Last year, though, I read one of her standalone books and got a bit interested in seeing more from her. I was happy to see another standalone included in this collection. Vaughn is a good writer and really will have to get back to her major series. This is a story about superheroes which has been appearing in my reading a lot lately, (new Fables and The Unwritten for example), so I was curious what Vaughn's take would be. The story centres around a playwright who finds herself in the middle of a robbery one night. A masked man saves her and she can't entirely forget about him after that. The events of that night largely change who she is as a person as the story progresses. A fun take on the superhero idea. Recommended.

'Hurt Me' by M.L.N. Hanover - Read February 4, 2012
This story starts out creepy and then gets disturbing. It is an interesting look at domestic abuse and the use of ghosts. I think I will just leave it at that, but I will say this story will stick with me.

'Demon Lover' by Cecelia Holland - Read February 4, 2012
Cecelia Holland is an author I have long wanted to try, so I am happy to at least have read a short story by her. It was a good story, too. It takes in the fairy realm, magic, demons, and a tragic fate. Oh, and the importance of names. It was a good retelling of many popular tales.

'The Wayfarer's Advice' by Melinda M. Snodgrass - Read February 5, 2012
I am not even sure if I have heard of this author before, but she writes interesting science-fiction based on this story. I suppose I have been in a science-fiction mood lately, so this added to it. It was a bit predictable, but that was not necessarily a bad thing. I am glad I read it.

'Blue Boots' by Robin Hobb - Read February 6, 2012
I really should read more of Robin Hobb because I enjoy everything that I try. This was no exception. This is a short story that is set in the same world she created for her popular Farseer series. It was nice to revisit even if it was with different characters. Hobb is an author that I knew within one chapter of my first read by her that I was going to love. She has written some of the most memorable characters for me. So far this short story is probably the one that will stick with me the longest.

'The Thing About Cassandra' by Neil Gaiman - Read February 6, 2012
I know a lot of people love Neil Gaiman, but he is a bit hit-or-miss with me. I still have many of his popular novels on my TBR pile, though, so maybe I will love one of those enough to get beyond my typical hesitation about his reads. Now, this story, I actually enjoyed. I liked how everything came together in the end and it was creative idea for a story. This is an instance where Gaiman was a hit for me.

'After the Blood' by Marjorie M. Liu - Read February 10, 2012
This was an interesting vampire story. I am getting a bit tired of the sub-genre, but there are a few exceptions here and there. This is actually the first time I have ever even heard of the author before, but she writes well enough. It actually reminded me a bit of Carrie Ryan writing about vampires instead of zombies. I liked the characters and am a bit curious about what else the author has written.

'You, and You Alone' by Jacqueline Carey - Read February 10, 2012
I have wanted to read Jacqueline Carey for a while, but I am not so sure if she is for me. This is a short story set in her famous world, though. It was interesting, but I am not so sure I would want to read an entire novel. You never know, though, I might read more from her one day. She does write really well, but romance novels have never really been my thing and this takes that idea to the extremes.

'His Wolf' by Lisa Tuttle - Read February 12, 2012
I read Lisa Tuttle once a while ago but the book did not have a lasting effect on me. That is not to say that she is not a good author, but more that I read so many authors for the first time and have a very hard time getting back to them. This book sort of reminded me I should read her again. I actually really enjoyed this story, too. It was a very creative approach to the werewolf idea.

'Courting Trouble' by Linnea Sinclair - Read February 12, 2012
Another author I have never really read before, but I have heard of her. This was actually a science-fiction story. It was an interesting space opera and I think the author has a lot of potential for full-length novels. I will look forward to reading more from her in the future.

'The Dream Dancer' by Mary Jo Putney - Read February 12, 2012
I really liked this story. I thought it was a bit of an adventure, but also a sweet story. I really enjoyed how it all played out and have to applaud the author for her fun idea.

'Under/Above the Water' by Tanith Lee - Read February 13, 2012
This is one story I was a bit baffled with. It is not that I didn't like it, but more that it was so different that I wasn't entirely sure if I got everything that was going on until the end. It was a really good idea and everything, but I am not sure if I was paying the appropriate attention to what was happening. I am going to have to try again.

'Kaskia' by Peter S. Beagle - Read February 13, 2012
Okay, here's the deal. I have tried to read Beagle twice and never really got the big deal about him. This story, though, I have to admit was well-written. I still don't get an overwhelming love of him, but I think this was a much better attempt than previous ones.

'Man in the Mirror' by Yasmine Galenorn - Read February 13, 2012
This was a dark sort of romance story and not typical at all. It is also a ghost story. I quite enjoyed yet another creative idea for a story. I am glad I had the chance to read it.

'A Leaf on the Wind of all Hallows' by Diana Gabaldon - Read February 13, 2012
When I said that I was reading this short story collection many people mentioned being interested in this story in particular. I have only read the one book by Diana Gabaldon. I enjoyed it, but I have never felt any pressing desire to read more by her. I am not sure why that is because so many people enjoy her series. This story is related to one of the later books in the series. I have to admit I was a bit intrigued to see this short story played out a bit more, but who knows if I will ever tackle the series.


  1. When I do read this book, it will mainly be for the Gabaldon books.

    1. Yes, I am sure that's why lots of people have read it.

  2. I love collections like this, mixixng different genres. They are a great way to discover new authors. I know a few of the authors included. I usually love Tanith Lee and Neil Gaiman and the one Lisa Tuttle I read was quite good as well.

    1. It was a fun experience. Normally I don't really like a lot of the stories, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

  3. It's pretty impressive to find a collection where none of the stories are disappointing! Glad you enjoyed it, Kelly. :)

  4. I soooo want to get my hands on this one. I've followed R.R. Martin's blog post about it and my curiosity was spiked from day one.

    1. I can't believe how many books he has edited!

  5. Sounds interesting. I have met Linnea Sinclair and had to introduce her at my local writers' group's annual conference, once. I didn't bother to ask her how to pronounce her first name and got it wrong. I will never, ever make that mistake, again. LOL

    1. That's why I don't like vlogs. I am always worried I brutalize authors names...


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