cover image Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005

Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005

, . . Locus, $16.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-978-62101-8

Strahan's wonderful "best of" anthology provides a little something for everyone, from traditional fantasy that pays homage to J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and M.R. James to slipstream wackiness that defies categorization. Of the 16 stories, the three standouts are Peter Beagle's gorgeous return to his Last Unicorn world, "Two Hearts"; Jane Yolen's scary classic Scotland-infused witch fantasy, "A Knot of Toads"; and Richard Bowes's "There's a Hole in the City," a gripping 9/11 ghost story. Other highlights include Neil Gaiman's funny epicurean adventure, "Sunbird"; Paul Di Filippo's delightful cyberfantasy, "The Emperor of Gondwanaland"; Theodora Goss's bittersweet fairy tale about grief recovery, "Pip and the Fairies"; Bruce Sterling's powerful fable, "The Denial"; and Kelly Link's hilarious campfire chiller, "Monster." Four tales overlap with a rival anthology, Fantasy: The Best of the Year (2006 Edition) (Reviews, July 31). (Sept.)