edited by Sharyn November
December 20, 2003.
Firebird (Penguin USA), New York, 2003. 421 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF FIR).
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out
#1, Short Story Collections
It’s not often that I start a short story collection and get excited
simply by reading the introduction. Sharyn November writes:
“I had been working with teenagers in the schools and online since
1996. The more teens I polled (thousands!) and talked to, the
more I realized one thing: some of my best and most voracious readers
loved fantasy and science fiction. They were going into the adult
genre section to find new authors and books, and they couldn’t wait to
tell me about them. They had really become readers for life—this
doesn’t happen with everyone, and when it does, it’s wonderful.
These middle and high school students were going to mature into adults
who read fantasy and sf—I knew some of those adults, and they consistently
talked about what they’d read at twelve, thirteen and onward. They
bought and re-read those books, too. They were touchstones.”
She goes on to write how this idea crystallized into the beginning
of the Firebird imprint in January 2002. They are bringing back
into print wonderful classics as well as discovering new authors.
A list of the books they have already published appears at the front of
this book. There are so many of my favorites! The ones I
have reviewed already are The Blue Sword,
by Robin McKinley; Enchantress from
by Sylvia Engdahl; The
by Patricia A. McKillip; Wolf Queen,
by Tanith Lee; and Interstellar Pig,
by William Sleator.
The list also includes many others of my favorite authors—more by Robin
McKinley, Lloyd Alexander, Nancy Farmer, David Clement-Davies, Peter Dickinson,
and Elizabeth E. Wein. The ones on the list that I have read are so
outstanding, I very much want to read the rest.
The short stories in Firebirds
are all written by people
connected with Firebird Books. They are wonderful. I wasn’t
a bit surprised to love the stories by Megan Whalen Turner, Patricia A.
McKillip, Elizabeth E. Wein, Diana Wynne Jones, and Nancy Farmer.
I was delighted to discover new authors whose books I simply have to try—especially
Sherwood Smith, Nancy Springer, Meredith Ann Pierce, Kara Dalkey, and Nina
Kiriki Hoffman. Even the stories that weren’t my favorites were still
I don’t usually choose books based on the publisher, but I’m definitely
going to be on the lookout for books put out by Firebird, to order for
the library. Usually, being able to order books for the library means
that I can resist spending so much of my own money on books. This
book, however, proved to be very dangerous. Not only do I mean to
get my own copy, it told me about many more authors whose books I now want
to read. My Amazon wish list grew dramatically while I was reading
Expect to hear about more books from this imprint, as well as more
authors from this anthology. Meanwhile, you can enjoy this delightful
collection of fantasy stories, written by some of the best writers in
Review of another Firebirds
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund. All