cover image Fantasy Gone Wrong

Fantasy Gone Wrong

, . . DAW, $7.99 (309pp) ISBN 978-0-7564-0380-5

In this delightful anthology, 16 authors take traditional fantasy premises and color them ironic. The only criteria for inclusion is a whimsical sense of humor and a keen appreciation for the fantasy genre, giving the writers—among them veterans like Alan Dean Foster, as well as virtual unknowns—plenty of room to make their unique voices heard. Almost without fail, the results are entertaining, amusing and original, and remarkably self-contained. Expanding the genre beyond the usual "wizards and dragons" limitations, authors bring to bear such modern phenomena as psychoanalysis, online video gaming, criminology and management techniques. Of particular note are "Food Fight" by Foster, an intensely funny tale of a man whose food speaks to him; Christina F. York's cheeky "A Day at the Unicorn Races"; and "The Murder of Mr. Wolf" by Josepha Sherman, a police procedural that skewers nursery rhyme and fairy tale staples like Hickory Dickory Doc and Little Red Riding Hood. Though not always as clever as it thinks it is, Greenberg and Koren's refreshing collection should strike fantasy fans just right. (Sept.)