cover image Finding Magic

Finding Magic

Tanya Huff, . . ISFiC, $30 (312pp) ISBN 978-0-9759156-5-3

This collection of 17 short stories by popular fantasy author Huff (the Smoke trilogy) celebrates an author praised for smart, funny dialogue, memorable characters and an optimism that's never naïve. The wise heroes of “I Knew a Guy Once” and “Slow Poison” know that even the most difficult goals—whether improving morale on a remote space mining station or defeating a brutal warlord—can be achieved with perseverance and patience. Traditional fantasy clashes hilariously with the contemporary world in “He Said, Sidhe Said” (a retelling of the old Scottish ballad of Tam Lin) and “Jack” (revisiting Jack and the beanstalk), while a Girl Guide leader faces a real challenge with her latest crop of Brownies in “Tuesday Evening, Six Thirty to Seven.” Several stories revisit familiar settings, including “After School Specials” (set in the world of Smoke and Shadows ), “Not That Kind of War” (a prequel to the Valor series) and three stories—”The Demon's Den,” “Brock” and “All the Ages of Man”—set in Huff's friend Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar world. An essay on Huff's work by Erica L. Neely rounds out this highly entertaining volume. (Nov.)