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Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy

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Now, Sarrantonio presents another daring, all-new anthology showcasing some of the genre's biggest names and best newcomers. "Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy" sets the standard for fantasy in the twenty-first century. Fantasy as literature. Fantasy that reinvigorates and expands the field's horizons. Fantasy that takes the reader into the next millennium of human imagi Now, Sarrantonio presents another daring, all-new anthology showcasing some of the genre's biggest names and best newcomers. "Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy" sets the standard for fantasy in the twenty-first century. Fantasy as literature. Fantasy that reinvigorates and expands the field's horizons. Fantasy that takes the reader into the next millennium of human imagination...


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Now, Sarrantonio presents another daring, all-new anthology showcasing some of the genre's biggest names and best newcomers. "Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy" sets the standard for fantasy in the twenty-first century. Fantasy as literature. Fantasy that reinvigorates and expands the field's horizons. Fantasy that takes the reader into the next millennium of human imagi Now, Sarrantonio presents another daring, all-new anthology showcasing some of the genre's biggest names and best newcomers. "Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy" sets the standard for fantasy in the twenty-first century. Fantasy as literature. Fantasy that reinvigorates and expands the field's horizons. Fantasy that takes the reader into the next millennium of human imagination...

30 review for Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This is a big volume which looks like it will furnish lunch reading for month. It has stories by some of my favorite authors, some of whom don't normally write in this genre. Very excited. Introduction The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Robert Silverberg was OK. Well drawn world & characters, good enough plot, but it never really grabbed me for some reason. 3 stars Perpetua by Kit Reed just never made enough sense for me to like it. I guess it was some sort of metaphor, but I'm not sure for what & don't This is a big volume which looks like it will furnish lunch reading for month. It has stories by some of my favorite authors, some of whom don't normally write in this genre. Very excited. Introduction The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Robert Silverberg was OK. Well drawn world & characters, good enough plot, but it never really grabbed me for some reason. 3 stars Perpetua by Kit Reed just never made enough sense for me to like it. I guess it was some sort of metaphor, but I'm not sure for what & don't really care. The words were put together well, but they added up to drivel. 1 star The Edges of Never-Haven by Catherine Asaro needed a huge suspension of disbelief on my part. I like magic with a logical basis & this seemed to try, but then jumped the shark. I rolled with it & then failed to feel the impact of the revelation. 2 stars Pat Moore by Tim Powers was one of the most readable stories I've read by this author, but didn't work for me. Similar to the previous two. I hope these get better. 2 stars Six Hypotheses by Joyce Carol Oates another no-go, but I've never liked anything by her. The Silver Dragonby Elizabeth A. Lynn was pretty good. Kind of a fable, interesting. A lot of strange names, but far better than anything else so far save the first. 3 stars Fallen Angel by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. was pretty weird, but interesting. A decidedly different take on the Abrahamic religion. A lot went over my head, though. 3 stars The Following by P. D. Cacek was really good except for a huge logic hole about 3/4 of the way through that makes the entire story nonsensical. 2 stars A Tower with No Doors by Dennis L. McKiernan was the best so far. Kind of a typical fairy tale with a twist. 3.5 stars Boomerang by Larry Niven was pointless. At least it was short. Wonderwall by Elizabeth Hand was awful. Couldn't even finish skimming it. Blood, Oak, Iron by Janny Wurts FINALLY!!! a really solid & good fantasy story. This is what I got the book to read. Beating a curse with a great ending. 4 stars Riding Shotgun by Charles de Lint was a ghost story that probably would have been better suited to a horror anthology, but I don't care. It was wonderful, one of the best I've ever read. 5 stars I didn't like any of the following much. Demons Hide Their Faces by A. A. Attanasio Relations by Nina Kiriki Hoffman Tourists by Neal Barrett, Jr. The White Man by Thomas M. Disch Out of the Woods by Patricia A. McKillip Perchance to Dream by David Morrell Coming Across by Harry Turtledove was dark & nasty. Another horror story. Not bad, but definitely not the type of fantasy I was looking for. 2 stars. Setting this aside for a while to reread Imager with a new group. I feel like reading a fantasy & too few of these are measuring up. Back to read a couple more . The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman Keeper of Lost Dreams by Orson Scott Card Yuck to both & I normally like both authors. Did this editor look for the worst stories? Watchfire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts was very good, 4 stars. Nice change of pace. Quite different than their other collaboration, the Empire trilogy (starts with Daughter of the Empire). While I like both authors writing, together they're even better. I've had this book sitting on my TBR shelf now for 5 months without touching it, so I'm calling it done. Tots by Peter Schneider Jupiter's Skull by Jeffrey Ford Death's Door by Terry Bisson Bill, the Little Steam Shovel by Joe R. Lansdale Sleepover by Al Sarrantonio Golden City Far by Gene Wolfe

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aelvana

    It's a bunch of short stories from a variety of authors. Overall, I thought there was too much sex in it... it's annoying when at least once every story something happens in that general direction. And the one by Neil Gaimen was plain offensive... *shudders* Though he did raise an interesting question in the beginning about why Susan should've been left behind in the last Narnia book, and what might have happened to her afterwards. Most of the stories I don't recommend, because even though I got It's a bunch of short stories from a variety of authors. Overall, I thought there was too much sex in it... it's annoying when at least once every story something happens in that general direction. And the one by Neil Gaimen was plain offensive... *shudders* Though he did raise an interesting question in the beginning about why Susan should've been left behind in the last Narnia book, and what might have happened to her afterwards. Most of the stories I don't recommend, because even though I got a laugh or two, they were either boring or not my kind of story. The last one, though, that was a real prize. Gene Wolfe has this wonderful story called "Golden City Far," and should he ever turn it into a novel I would definitely read it. It's about a boy whose keeps dreaming the same dream, a fantasy/adventure type dream, and little by little the dream and his reality are merging until it's impossible to tell the two apart. The book as a whole is Not Recommended, but if you can read that last story I'd highly encourage it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    I only read the one story that I got the book for: The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman. I was expecting a fantasy treatise of warning into reading Susan’s femininity as her own demise. What I got was a too-short summary of what may have happened to Susan after all the dealings in Narnia, followed by a crude vision of Aslan and Jadis as instruments of lewdness and evil. Gaiman missed the point of what Susan represents in the Narnia stories. This makes me sad to write, as Gaiman is one of my favor I only read the one story that I got the book for: The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman. I was expecting a fantasy treatise of warning into reading Susan’s femininity as her own demise. What I got was a too-short summary of what may have happened to Susan after all the dealings in Narnia, followed by a crude vision of Aslan and Jadis as instruments of lewdness and evil. Gaiman missed the point of what Susan represents in the Narnia stories. This makes me sad to write, as Gaiman is one of my favorite authors.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Keri Sparks

    The only reason why this got 2 stars instead of 1 is because there were 4 stories that were actually interesting and enjoyable. Otherwise, every single one was either a complete waste of my time or it made no sense and I was left sitting in perplexed silence wondering what the hell did I just read and why did I even bother. I have never been so disappointed in a collection of short stories before. This one just failed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    3.8. Not all of these authors write in this particular genre, so don't judge the author solely on the works found in here. There's a story or more for everyone, just as most will not love every story here. Several made me laugh, a few made me cringe, but in the whole I enjoyed this.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ty

    Some excellent stories that improve the further into the book you get ending with Gene Wolfe's excellent story that would be a perfect origin for a Zelazny Amberite beginning his journey to discover the City of Amber on Mount Kolvir.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Really excellent collection of fantasy short stories written in 2004, though at heart I hate short-story collections... Because when a story is brilliant, I always am disappointed when it ends, I wish it was a novel!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Watchfire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts Watchfire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts

  9. 4 out of 5

    M

    The short story is a fantastic piece of literature. Rather than expounding on minute, unnecessary details, the short story author must get across his tale in only a few short pages. This tome of fantasy fiction brings in well-known and well-respected names of the genre, allowing them to truly shine. Robert Silverberg looks at the emotional and physical power struggle between a sorcerer and her apprentice. Kit Reed shows us a miniaturized family surviving the apocalypse and living inside a crocod The short story is a fantastic piece of literature. Rather than expounding on minute, unnecessary details, the short story author must get across his tale in only a few short pages. This tome of fantasy fiction brings in well-known and well-respected names of the genre, allowing them to truly shine. Robert Silverberg looks at the emotional and physical power struggle between a sorcerer and her apprentice. Kit Reed shows us a miniaturized family surviving the apocalypse and living inside a crocodile. Edges are to be feared in the round world of Catherine Asaro, while duplicate names cause ghostly trouble for the titular Pat Moore of Tim Powers' contribution. A Cthulhu-inspired tale is offered up from Joyce Carol Oates, a fantastical morphing silver dragon finds love and loss due to Elizabeth A. Lynn, and L.E. Modesitt Jr. pens a musical dynamic between fallen angels. The Rapunzel myth gets skewered thanks to Dennis L. McKiernan, while the Aboriginal origin of the boomerang is spun by Larry Niven. Drugs and distortion break down the Wonderwall of Elizabeth Hand, demonic possession of royal lineage meets is match in the story from Janny Wurts, and time-travel body-switching helps alter the future for Charles de Lint's addition. Books with special powers are the main focus of the time-jumping contribution from A.A. Attanasio. Nina Kiriki Hoffman explores how family ties can become literal, while Neal Barrett Jr. sends a bus full of elderly tourists to explore Hell. African mythology and vampires cross in Thomas M. Disch's serving; Patricia A. McKillip send a woodsman's wife to tidy up a mage's new home. Somnambulism plays a key role in the identity-twisting tale from David Morrell. Faerie folk discover the problem of STDs after a simple jaunt to 1980s San Francisco - thanks to Harry Turtledove. Neil Gaiman twists the classic Narnia series into an interview story all his own, Orson Scott Card explores an abandons child's ability to see other's dreams, and Raymond E. Feist (with Janny Wurts) explores the universal balance right under our noses. Peter Schneider brings us into the oddly humorous world of "totfighting." Jeffrey Ford presents tea and tales mixed with spells in his look at two lost souls, while Terry Bisson looks at what happens when death closes its doors - albeit briefly - to the living. Bill the Steam Shovel gets a chance to shine in the not-quite-for-kids tale from Joe. R. Lansdale, Al Sarrantonio shows what happens when parents figure out how to send their kids "away," and Gene Wolfe provides us a dreamed-into-reality high school love story. The overall collection is a wonderful descent into the world just beyond our reach and challenges the imagination to fly among the stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    • The Edges of Never-Haven by Catherine Asaro read 6/13/2004 • Riding Shotgun by Charles de Lint read 6/15/2004 • Relations • short story by Nina Kiriki Hoffman 6/16/2004 • The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman read 6/19/2004 • Bill, the Little Steam Shovel by Joe R. Lansdale 6/20/2004 • The Sorcerer's Apprentice • [Majipoor] • (2004) • novelette by Robert Silverberg • Perpetua • short story by Kit Reed • Pat Moore • novelette by Tim Powers • Six Hypotheses • short story by Joyce Carol Oates • The Silver D • The Edges of Never-Haven by Catherine Asaro read 6/13/2004 • Riding Shotgun by Charles de Lint read 6/15/2004 • Relations • short story by Nina Kiriki Hoffman 6/16/2004 • The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman read 6/19/2004 • Bill, the Little Steam Shovel by Joe R. Lansdale 6/20/2004 • The Sorcerer's Apprentice • [Majipoor] • (2004) • novelette by Robert Silverberg • Perpetua • short story by Kit Reed • Pat Moore • novelette by Tim Powers • Six Hypotheses • short story by Joyce Carol Oates • The Silver Dragon • novelette by Elizabeth A. Lynn • Fallen Angel • short story by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. • The Following • novelette by P. D. Cacek • A Tower with No Doors • short story by Dennis L. McKiernan • Boomerang • short story by Larry Niven • Wonderwall • (2004) • short story by Elizabeth Hand • Blood, Oak, Iron • short story by Janny Wurts • Demons Hide Their Faces • short story by A. A. Attanasio • Tourists • short story by Neal Barrett, Jr. • The White Man • novelette by Thomas M. Disch • Out of the Woods • short story by Patricia A. McKillip • Perchance to Dream • short story by David Morrell • Coming Across • novelette by Harry Turtledove • Keeper of Lost Dreams • novelette by Orson Scott Card • Watchfire • novelette by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts • Tots • short story by Peter Schneider • Jupiter's Skull • (2004) • short story by Jeffrey Ford • Death's Door • (2004) • short story by Terry Bisson • Sleepover • short story by Al Sarrantonio • Golden City Far • (2004) • novelette by Gene Wolfe

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rena Sherwood

    A very uneven fantasy anthology with a really cool cover. There are some truly awful fantasy anthologies out there, so if this is the only fantasy anthology your library has or that you can get your hands on, you'll find something worthwhile in there but you may have to dig for it. The fantasy ranges from sword and sorcery stuff to modern vampire slaying and sentient steam-shovels having sex. There are a couple of ghost stories that I wouldn't think of as fantasy but I did enjoy reading them. My A very uneven fantasy anthology with a really cool cover. There are some truly awful fantasy anthologies out there, so if this is the only fantasy anthology your library has or that you can get your hands on, you'll find something worthwhile in there but you may have to dig for it. The fantasy ranges from sword and sorcery stuff to modern vampire slaying and sentient steam-shovels having sex. There are a couple of ghost stories that I wouldn't think of as fantasy but I did enjoy reading them. My favorite was "Totfighting" which was not only a plausible look at a sport of the near future but also a sly look at cockfighting and dog fighting. A special shout out to Neil Gaiman for ruining the Narnia books forever for me. Well done scarring me for life, sir! That being said, please read everything written by Neil Gaiman. Except this short story. Unless you like being scarred for life. I was less scarred when I found out Christianity was all a crock. Which may have been the point.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wm

    Considering the authors involved and the stated concept (complete with reference to the Dangerous Visions anthologies), I expected a little more. There are some stories worth reading; others that fall flat; and very little that really pushes the envelope of fantasy. Some of the stories have (generally short and not super graphic) sex scenes so I suppose that's supposed to be the boundary pushing. And there are a couple of interesting experiments -- Gene Wolf's novelette “Golden City Far” that clo Considering the authors involved and the stated concept (complete with reference to the Dangerous Visions anthologies), I expected a little more. There are some stories worth reading; others that fall flat; and very little that really pushes the envelope of fantasy. Some of the stories have (generally short and not super graphic) sex scenes so I suppose that's supposed to be the boundary pushing. And there are a couple of interesting experiments -- Gene Wolf's novelette “Golden City Far” that closes the anthology is an excellent blurring of the typical young adult from our world encounters a fantasy world set up. Neil Gaiman’s “The Problem of Susan” is pretty good although it feels in parts like it's both straining and incomplete (but that seems to be a perennial reaction I have to his work). "The Edges of Never-Haven" by Catherine Asaro is one exception to my comments above. I like the mathematical take on magic systems. But really, I'm being a bit unfair. These are all solid, well-written stories. Definitely an anthology worth checking out from the library or borrowing from a friend -- I don't know that I'd spend money on it unless after reading it you find several stories you can't live without.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    Denric Valdoria, the seventh of Roca and Eldrinson's children, has come to the planet of Sandstorm with the plan of opening a school. Aware of the privileges his status gives him, he has a need to give something back to society, rather than take up an academic position in a high level university somewhere. The story opens with him running, desperately, with demons chasing him. He has accidently strayed into the city of Never-Haven where everything is curved and to draw a straight line is to draw Denric Valdoria, the seventh of Roca and Eldrinson's children, has come to the planet of Sandstorm with the plan of opening a school. Aware of the privileges his status gives him, he has a need to give something back to society, rather than take up an academic position in a high level university somewhere. The story opens with him running, desperately, with demons chasing him. He has accidently strayed into the city of Never-Haven where everything is curved and to draw a straight line is to draw down the Edger demons. Denric finds himself captured and must set out to free himself. This is a very short, little story with a simple plot that is beautifully worked. We never discover if the demons and their spells are truly magic and some long forgotten technology - and as Denric reflects, is there really a difference? Denric gets a chance to learn more about himself and how he fits with his famous family where he is a scholar rather than a fighter like so many of his siblings. This is a lovely little insight into a previous shadowy member of the Valdoria family and I look forward to meeting him again in a full novel. [Copied across from Library Thing; 27 September 2012]

  14. 5 out of 5

    Catty K

    I didn't realize how much variety fell under the category of fantasy fiction. I haven't read too much like this before; usually when I think of fantasy I think of knights and dragons and Lord of the Rings, even though I've never read anything like that; but overall I enjoyed it. It was a little difficult at times to wrap my head around some of the stories when I'd just finished ones that were completely different. I recommend people read a book called "Zombies vs. Unicorns," it's also a book of I didn't realize how much variety fell under the category of fantasy fiction. I haven't read too much like this before; usually when I think of fantasy I think of knights and dragons and Lord of the Rings, even though I've never read anything like that; but overall I enjoyed it. It was a little difficult at times to wrap my head around some of the stories when I'd just finished ones that were completely different. I recommend people read a book called "Zombies vs. Unicorns," it's also a book of short stories, but because of the similar themes it's easier to sit back and focus on the different writing styles and points of view.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Sadly, I found few stories in this collection to be "extreme visions". I do have to take into account the fact that this is from 2004, but still, I expected much more to inspire than what was here. To date, by far the best collection of compelling fantasy I've read is The Secret History of Fantasy ed. by Beagle. Anyway, these four I found worthwhile... Perpetua by Kit Reed Relations by Nina Kiriki Hoffman Jupiter's Skull by Jeffrey Ford Sleepover by Al Sarrantonio And now, onto the next collection...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I gave the book 3 stars but that really is an average of all the stories in the book. I personally am a swords and magic type of fantasy lover which isn't the main focus of this book (which I'm sure contributed to the lower rating than most reviewers). There were also quite a few stories that had sex as a main focus of the plot. However, there were some stories that I liked quite a bit as well. If you like the type of fantasy where weird symbolic things happen then this would be a good book to r I gave the book 3 stars but that really is an average of all the stories in the book. I personally am a swords and magic type of fantasy lover which isn't the main focus of this book (which I'm sure contributed to the lower rating than most reviewers). There were also quite a few stories that had sex as a main focus of the plot. However, there were some stories that I liked quite a bit as well. If you like the type of fantasy where weird symbolic things happen then this would be a good book to read. If you like the swords and magic fantasy then you might want to skip it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    Finally done! I've never read a short story compilation before. This book was given to me by a redditor and he gave me his personal copy because he couldn't find it in stores. So I felt obligated to read it. And I'm glad I did. I didn't like all of the stories but some were really good. I think it gave me a sampling of various fantasy/scifi writers that I can check out!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    This is an excellent book of short stories. One of the best fantasy anthologies of the decade, in my humble opinion. With the exception of maybe one or two stories which wound up as mere exercise in idea, most of these are wildly imaginative and extremely well written. Most especially Golden City Far by Gene Wolfe, which if you are a Wolfe fan in an instant must read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathi Sharp

    Listened to Gene Wolfe's "Golden City Far" on PodCastle (http://podcastle.org/2012/03/20/podca...). Bill, especially as read by Kane Lynch, is an endearingly unsure geeky teenager with flashes of pure bravado. I love how he just accepts how the strange world of his dreams starts to bleed into his "real" life. I would like to see him reach the Golden City. Listened to Gene Wolfe's "Golden City Far" on PodCastle (http://podcastle.org/2012/03/20/podca...). Bill, especially as read by Kane Lynch, is an endearingly unsure geeky teenager with flashes of pure bravado. I love how he just accepts how the strange world of his dreams starts to bleed into his "real" life. I would like to see him reach the Golden City.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Ghea

    Probably one of the best anthologies I have ever read. Those who shy away from the word "fantasy" are missing some of the best, well-written short stories I have ever come across. Truly a literary banquet.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    An excellent collection of fantasy stories. Like the last one, though, there were a few that got bogged down in the death/ghost/afterlife genre. But the beauty of an anthology is that, if you're not entranced with one story, you can skip right along to the next.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    (Rated more as 3.5-3.6 stars) Here is another interesting mix bag of anthology fantasy. Some of my favorites were by Silverberg, Asaro, de Lint, Hoffman, Gaiman, and Wolfe. Some ended rather ambiguously which made me lower my ratings on those certain tales.

  23. 5 out of 5

    gambal29 YIM

    awesome

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Ferguson

    A very cool fantasy collection. My favourite was the one about the trucks.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    There are a few really great stories in this collection, but it hit and miss.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is one of the best collections of Fantasy short stories that I have read in a while.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Givens

    Some good and some bad, as with any anthology. Favorites: "The Silver Dragon" and "Coming Across."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Eittreim

    mixed bag, some good stories, some that are really confusing at the end.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brent C.

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