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The Best of Talebones

edited by Patrick Swenson


The Best of Talebones collects 42 of the best and most beloved stories from Talebones magazine. Taken from 39 issues published over 14 years, this anthology includes such writers as Jack Cady, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Marie Brennan, Barb Hendee, Carrie Vaughn, Kay Kenyon, Ken Scholes, James Van Pelt, James Sallis, Paul Melko, Louise Marley, Mary Robinette Kowal, Anne Harris, James C. Glass, Alan DeNiro . . . and many, many more.


“Though the tone ranges from grisly horror to wry humor, surrealist SF to rampantly pulpish fantasy, these could almost be the varied productions of a single authorial mind, given decades with the freedom to move wherever it wanted, plus the talent to put those wanderings to good use. Less fancifully, they’re evidence of an editor who knows just what he wants.” —Locus

The Best of Talebones assembles a fine, highly entertaining selection of contemporary short fiction. An endangered breed is given new life!”   —Greg Bear, author of WAR DOGS

“Every once in a while Talebones got one of the top stories of the year, and meanwhile helped to develop some first class writing talents. Not a bad record.”     —David Hartwell

“Editor Patrick Swenson has an eye for excellent writers. He published many current bestselling writers in Talebones, even early in their careers. His choices are all worth reading. The Best of Talebones includes some of the best speculative short fiction published in the last decade. Read it and laugh and cry and be frightened and be awed.”  —Brenda Cooper, author of THE DIAMOND DEEP



"I've seen just about every issue of Talebones since its inception, so I can tell you without even looking at the contents that this book is worth reading. In fact, after you finish reading it, you'll want to find some back issues of the magazine, because I guarantee you that one volume is not enough to contain all the stories that belong in a book with this title. "

—Gordon Van Gelder

"Swenson offers an astonishing range of SF stories filled with things you don't want to encounter (such as tall spirits, out for vengeance) and things you do (such as a poignant and heroic Winnie the Pooh).  Some of these writers are famous, some little known, all worth your time.  Savor each one."

—Nancy Kress, author of YESTERDAY'S KIN