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Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction

por Sharyn November (Editor)

Outros autores: Christopher Barzak (Contribuidor), Clare Bell (Contribuidor), Kara Dalkey (Contribuidor), Candas Jane Dorsey (Contribuidor), Carol Emshwiller (Contribuidor)15 mais, Nancy Farmer (Contribuidor), Nina Kiriki Hoffman (Contribuidor), Ellen Klages (Contribuidor), Margo Lanagan (Contribuidor), Louise Marley (Contribuidor), Nick O'Donohoe (Contribuidor), Chris Roberson (Contribuidor), Sherwood Smith (Contribuidor), Nancy Springer (Contribuidor), Adam Stemple (Contribuidor), Jo Walton (Contribuidor), Elizabeth E. Wein (Contribuidor), Laurel Winter (Contribuidor), Jane Yolen (Contribuidor), Marly Youmans (Contribuidor)

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Firebirds (3)

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Original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction.
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    Code Name Verity por Elizabeth Wein (Herenya)
    Herenya: Firebirds Soaring contains "Something Worth Doing" (by Wein) about Theo, a pilot and minor character from Code Name Verity.
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This particular one did not appeal to me quite as strongly as the first 2, but I think that's a reflection of personal taste, rather than a lowering of quality. This collection always has an all-star line-up, but some of my very favorite authors didn't make it into this installment. I was totally excited about the Nina Kiriki Hoffman Novella and really blown away by several of the stories. Great range! ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
***"Kingmaker" - by Nancy Springer. The king's only child is a girl, who helps her father decide disputes and is well-loved by the populace, but will never rule the kingdom. When she stumbles across a powerful magic bracelet, her disappointment at being passed over bubbles up. I liked this until the end, when the story abruptly shifts.
**"A ticket to ride" - by Nancy Farmer. A destitute boy tries to help a dying homeless man, and accidentally gets to relive all of the man's best memories. Fantastic until--the boy stays on, reliving memories forever, and it's supposedly a happy ending.
*"A thousand tails" - by Christopher Barzak. Story about a modern-day kitsune who turns into a ghost. A little fetish-y for my tastes, the relationship with the father felt completely unreal, and I have no idea what happened when Midori turns into a spirit.
***"All under heaven" - by Chris Roberson. A man and his grandmother go out fishing in a really interesting sf world.
***"Singing on a star" - by Ellen Klages. Creepy and well-written. One little girl shows her friend how to get into a hidden world.
****"Egg magic" - by Louise Marley. A farm girl loves her chickens and dislikes her step-mother and new siblings. She yearns to meet her mother, the mysterious Magda. This is a mature, nuanced story. I really believed in the characters, and the touches of magic were wonderful.
***"Flatland" - by Kara Dalkey. Corporate life in the future.
***"Dolly the dog-soldier" - by Candas Jane Dorsey. Not sure I understand what a dog-soldier is (were the children dogs when they were taken, and turned into humans?), but I really liked this story. A girl is brought up to be a weapon, but she is too smart for the lies she's told.
***"Ferryman" - by Margo Lanagan. A girl brings her father some lunch. It's a cozy little family moment until you realize that he's the ferryman of the dead.
***"The ghosts of strangers" - by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. In a world where dragons torment humans, a small village has found a way to keep themselves safe. Every adult bonds to a single female dragon, then feeds her and her children for seven years. In return, the dragons protect them from marauders.
***"Three twilight tales" - by Jo Walton. "It's a fairy story that questions the demands that stories make of their protagonists. Like most fairy tales it's liminal, it's all about edges and thresholds and twilight and possibilities."
**"The dignity he's due" - by Carol Emshwiller. Two young siblings deal with their mother, who is convinced the boy is the heir to France's throne. It's not speculative in the least, and the story, although interesting, has no end.
*"Power and magic" - by Marly Youmans. Too boring to finish.
**"Court ship" - by Sherwood Smith. Cute little story set in the [b:Crown Duel|21060|Crown Duel (Contains Crown Duel & Court Duel)|Sherwood Smith|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1167301606s/21060.jpg|4398231] world.
**"Little Red" - by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple. Crazy girl in an institution is repeatedly assaulted.
***"The myth of Fenix" - by Laurel Winter. A little boy reinvents himself so thoroughly that he fits better with aliens than with humans.
***"Fear and loathing in Lalanna" - by Nick O'Donohoe. Hilarious!
*"Bonechewer's legacy" - by Clare Bell. A story about intelligent cats. It's pretty useless if you don't know the world or the characters already.
***"Something worth doing" - by Elizabeth E. Wein. A young, aimless girl decides that her brother, who just died, will not have died without having honored his name. She takes his place at the RAF. Fantastic training sequences and I love the main character; really satisfying story all around. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Overall Summary and Review: This anthology is a little strange, since it's full of stories that are all written by authors published by the Firebird imprint, but that don't otherwise have much in common. There's fantasy, there's sci-fi, there's historical fiction, there's fairy tale, there's dark, there's light, there's… not really anything thematically or conceptually tying these stories together. If I'd read this anthology straight through, as I've done with other anthologies, I think that would have bothered me, but I read it much more spread out - a story here, a story there, over the course of a month and a half - so the lack of a common thread didn't make much of a difference. But, if your goal in reading this is just to get a sampling of some recent young adult fiction, particularly speculative fiction, this one would definitely fit the bill - there's some great authors included, with some very good stories, and overall, it's a solidly enjoyable collection - some highs and some lows, of course, but definitely more of the former and relatively few of the latter. 4 out of 5 stars.

Individual Stories:
- In "Kingmaker" by Nancy Springer, a king's daughter has always had the ability to tell truth from lies, which makes her a valuable asset to her father, even if she won't inherit the throne. But when she is sitting in judgement over a dispute involving pigs, she uncovers something with the power to change her destiny. I really enjoy this kind of mashup of Celtic mythology, lots of familiar elements, but I liked the protagonist and enjoyed the turns the story took, although the ending didn't have quite as much thunder as I think it deserved.

- In "A Ticket to Ride" by Nancy Farmer, a boy living in a group juvenile home is caught alone outside the library when a local homeless man is dying, and in his panic he finds himself on board a strange train with some strange men. This book is an interesting vision of the afterlife, although I felt like it wasn't entirely internally consistent - what happens to Jason's ticket, and when? - and the setting was a strange mix of old-timey ridin' the rails that clashed with the weird hint of dystopia that permeated the first part of the story.

- In "A Thousand Tails" by Christopher Barzak, a young girl realizes she's a kitsune, a fox spirit, trapped in the body of a girl, and she must figure out how she got to be where she is. I liked this one - it's quiet and bittersweet, and yet it unsettled me, since I recognized a lot of my younger self in Midori. I thought the ending went on a bit too long and lost some of the momentum of the story, but otherwise, really very good.

- In "All Under Heaven" by Chris Roberson, a young man is going out for one last fishing expedition with his grandmother, and trying to find a way to tell her that he's leaving. Initially this one confused me - I couldn't tell if it was distant past or distant future, or both. But once I got settled in, I quite liked the world, and wanted to know more about it than the glimpse of the little story.

- In "Singing on a Star" by Ellen Klages, a girl goes over to a friend's house for a sleepover, but finds out that her friend has a secret elevator in her closet that allows them to travel to a strange place. I thought this one was kind of predictable, but with a really palpable sense of menace surrounding the childhood loss of innocence that made it resonate really well.

- "Egg Magic" by Louise Marley features a teen girl whose mother left when she was very young, but left behind a strange chicken, that has only every laid a few very strange eggs. I liked the non-usual family dynamic in this story, and how immersed I felt in the story, even within a few pages.

- In "Flatland" by Kara Dalkey, Appie works for a company that monitors her performance in almost every aspect of her life. Even when she's on vacation, she's never entirely free… but that's how she likes it, right? This reminded me in a lot of ways of a cross between So Yesterday and some elements of Ready Player One. Maybe a little predictable but I found the world really interesting.

- I skipped "Dolly the Dog-Soldier" by Candas Jane Dorsey. Wasn't feeling it. Sorry.

- "Ferryman" by Margo Lanagan was one of my favorite pieces in the collection. It involves Charon, the man who ferries the souls of the dead to the Greek underworld, and his daughter. I love Greek mythology, and I am a sucker for stories about dads and their daughters, and Margo Lanagan's writing is unsurprisingly tender but haunting.

- "The Ghosts of Strangers" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman is one of the longest stories in the collection, about a village who has a relationship with dragons that live nearby, helping them care for their young, and bringing them ghosts of animals to eat. A young girl has the ability to capture human ghosts as well as animals, a power that may come in useful when her village is threatened. I liked the world and the tone of this story, although it seemed needlessly complicated. (For example, I'm still not sure what the jewel-finding ability had to do with anything.)

- Jo Walton's "Three Twilight Tales" all focus around a small village inn where magical things seem to happen. I liked the fairytale feeling of this one, and the little twists in each of the tales.

- In "The Dignity He's Due" by Carol Emshwiller, the narrator's mother is convinced that her son, the narrator's brother, is heir to the French throne, even though they are homeless in rural America. This one had some great characterization, and an emotional weight that occasionally felt like a punch to the gut.

- "Power and Magic" by Marly Youmans is the tale of a confident boy trying to impress a jaded girl, who has promised to kiss him if he shows her real power and magic. I was surprised by this one - both the depth of character and the sheer weight of atmosphere that Youmans is able to build in a relatively short space were impressive, and this story is resonating in my head after many of the others have faded.

- "Court Ship" by Sherwood Smith had the potential to be an interesting story about a prince who hires a ship to take him to pay a visit to a future princess, but the worldbuilding was so complicated - names and countries and politics and alliances and histories, and the ultimate payoff of the story didn't really seem like enough. When I got to the note at the end and realized that it was set in the world of Smith's other novels, and made reference to things that happened in those books, it was immediately clear why the story standing alone was less than successful.

- "Little Red" by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple is a take on Little Red Riding Hood involving a girl in a psychiatric ward. Little Red Riding Hood is a disturbing story at the best of times, and Yolen and Stemple have amped up the disturbing on this one, no doubt. Dark and brutal, but really well done.

- "The Myth of Fenix" by Laurel Winter is a little story of a boy who fakes his own death to leave his world behind - maybe literally. I'm not a huge fan of the fragmented stream-of-consciousness style of story most of the time, and this one didn't make much of an impression on me one way or the other.

- "Fear and Loathing in Lalanna" by Nick O'Donohue involves two mages who are sent to infiltrate a meeting of Heroes armed with nothing but a cartload of magical supplies. This was clever and funny enough, although I'm not a particular Hunter S. Thompson fan, so I was maybe not the optimal audience.

- "Bonechewer's Legacy" by Clare Bell is a good example of how to write a story that's part of a series world without making it feel like it. It involves the leader of a group of sentient animals who believes her mate has returned from the dead. I didn't love this story - the world didn't entirely grab me, but it was still an interesting read, with some nice worldbuilding.

- "Something Worth Doing" by Elizabeth E. Wein was another one of the best stories in the collection. It's the story of a girl who, following her elder brother's death in a pointless accident, takes his place training to be a pilot in the RAF in World War II. Judging by the author's note, this was written before Code Name Verity, but it's in a similar vein, and really, really good and satisfying. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Jun 24, 2014 |
Firebirds Soaring is a beautiful anthology of speculative fiction. As with all such anthologies, there were some stories I loved, some I liked and others I didn't like as much, but that's a matter of taste, not quality. Firebirds Soaring is quality through and through: from the selection of stories to the design to the decorations by Mike Dringenberg.

Read the entire review ( )
  SheilaRuth | Aug 23, 2013 |
I really like Sharyn November, the editor of these anthologies. I will take her advice on which authors to check out any time. Plus this one has a novella by Nina Kiriki Hoffman in the center - so how about that for some creamy goodness in the middle?

The way I feel about an anthology is I don't have to absolutely love everything in it to love the anthology. For me anthologies are a way to sample new authors. If its just stuff by authors that I already like, and know that I like well that's lovely, sure. But if I find somebody new that I'm excited about at the price of reading some stuff by others who are good but don't thrill me, I feel that's actually better somehow.

By that measure, the Firebirds anthologies have been great for me. More from Sharyn November anytime, please! ( )
  bunwat | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
November, SharynEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Barzak, ChristopherContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bell, ClareContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dalkey, KaraContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dorsey, Candas JaneContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Emshwiller, CarolContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Farmer, NancyContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hoffman, Nina KirikiContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Klages, EllenContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lanagan, MargoContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Marley, LouiseContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
O'Donohoe, NickContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Roberson, ChrisContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Smith, SherwoodContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Springer, NancyContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Stemple, AdamContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Walton, JoContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Wein, Elizabeth E.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Winter, LaurelContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Yolen, JaneContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Youmans, MarlyContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dringenberg, MikeIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nielsen, CliffArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction.

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