Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

Naked City edited by Ellen Datlow

Title: Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy
Editor: Ellen Datlow
Genre: Anthology, urban fantasy
Setting: Cities all over the world (and outside it) and all through history (and outside it). Not just Boston and Chicago but also Haifa, Berlin, and Riverside.
Reason for Reading: It was getting really good reviews. And let me just mention, it deserved them.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 560
Copyright Date: 2011
Cover: Neon lights, a man with a glowing amulet, a girl with an extreme amount of cleavage.
First line: "Most of my cases are pretty tame." (Jim Butcher)
Themes: Cities, wonder, belonging.
Favorite stories: "Noble Rot" by Holly Black, "The Duke of Riverside" by Ellen Kushner, "The Projected Girl" by Lavie Tidhar, "King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree" by Elizabeth Bear. And it was REALLY hard to choose just a few.
Worst part: Actually, in my opinion Jim Butcher didn't really hold up his end on this one. I know, his shorts are generally light, but this one did not properly establish the tone for such a great collection.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Naked City" by Latin Quarter
Grade: B+. I don't know that it really changed the genre, but it's soooo good to see someone spending time on actual urban fantasy, not just Sexy Pentacle Tattoo stuff. You can tell Ellen Datlow either loves the genre or spent serious time researching it and figuring out what makes it tick.
Recommended for: Any fans of urban fantasy. Anyone who doesn't get urban fantasy.
Related Reads: The newly released Welcome to Bordertown. Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint, still a pivotal collection of urban fantasy as well as one of the first.

This book takes its title, we learn from the introduction, from the old TV show The Naked City. "There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."

I thought this anthology was of a very high quality. I did regret that some of the earlier urban fantasists, like deLint and Block, both mentioned in the intro for their importance, were not represented here.
Tags: books 2011, fiction
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