cover image Fearsome Magics

Fearsome Magics

Edited by Jonathan Strahan. Solaris, $9.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-78108-213-3

Changelings and people whose powers set them strangely apart from the world, weird alternate pockets of reality that play by their own rules, and dark psychological fugues feature in this collection of 14 original stories, which%E2%80%94despite the title%E2%80%94reads more like a horror compilation than a fantasy one. Highlights include Tony Ballantyne's "Dream London Hospital," a disturbing ramble through a medical facility gone mad; Kaaron Warren's "The Nursery Corner," an intensely creepy peek into a world of aging, memory, and forgetting; and Isobelle Carmody's "Grigori's Solution," which poses quiet questions about the end of the world under a premise of a universe undone by brilliant math. Garth Nix fans will enjoy a new Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz story in "Home is the Haunter." The stories aren't exceptional, but all of them deftly establish the parameters of their worlds, in alignment with the theme of magic with "rules and consequences" that Strahan describes in his introduction. (Oct.)