New poll - Anthologies

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In my concise review of Goats of Glory by Steven Erikson, I mentioned that it was the first time I read a short story from a Fantasy anthology (Swords and Dark Magic...).  I found it interesting but not enough to make me go through the whole book without going back to the novel I was reading (at least so far).  I received one comment stating that I should read it in its entirety and threat myself.  I will probably do so if I find another story more compelling but in the meantime, I would ask your opinion to assert whether I'm alone in feeling a certain reserve toward this particular type of book.

There are many differences between full-length Fantasy novels and a short story but a book that contains a collection of original tales from a crowd of authors from the same genre should be interesting simply by its definition. At least, I think that is why I bought this anthology.  However, buying a book simply for that fact may not be enough, I am not sure that short fiction is for everyone and that every author is apt enough to write a good one.

If you have read an anthology recently, I would like to have your input on it and for the poll, the question is quite simple:

Do you read anthologies?



Antonakis said...

Eventhough I've always been a bit fascinated by anthologies and wanted to read them, I almost never find myself doing it. So from me, it's a no to the poll question.
In the past, when I was a student and used to borrow a lot of books from libraries then I read quite a few but nowadays I'm more of a novel (or sometimes novella) type.
At the moment I'm reading something that could be classified as an anthology of sorts: The collected books of Skyrim (It's a 1000+ page ebook that contains all of the "books" that can be found and read in the computer game Skyrim.) I have to say I'm enjoying it much more than I even expected!!

Steely J said...

YES!!!!!!!! Short fiction is great, you can read entire stories in one sitting. I also find it a GREAT way to find authors you haven't yet come across. I bought Swords & Dark Magic, and after reading the stories by Lynch, Abercrombie, and Erickson, I immediately followed up by buying their books. I've read all of Abercrombie, all of Lynch, and am on book four of Malazan Book of the Fallen.

I think short fiction anthologies should be more widely read, even if it is just for the reason to get a taste of authors before jumping right into their novels.

Unknown said...

I find I tend to pick up a lot of anthologies, but rarely read them from cover to cover. I'll either pick and choose the authors I like, or the stories that sound the most interesting. On those rare occasions when I do try to read the entire collection, I find my patience last about 5 pages - if the story hasn't hooked me by that point, it's on to the next one.

Bryce L. said...

Songs of the Dying Earth was an amazing anthology. I honestly don't read too many, but that was a good one.

I've noticed that a lot of those authors show up in lots more anthologies...therefore I will be reading more anthologies. :)

Showtyme said...

I have attempted multiple times to read anthologies, but the could never keep my interest. While you will, of course, occasionally find a rare gem of a story, the majority of what I have read have been lacking. So, I've made the decision to just avoid them altogether.

I'm currently way too behind on novels to read to waste time on anthologies right now.

Hélène said...

No, I very seldom read short stories. It feels like I'm ushered off before I've had time to sit down! But I could try and like short stories happening in the same universe as novels. Perhaps I'll read more of them now the Internet often allows to buy them single.

Anonymous said...

Just like Bob (Beauty in Ruins) i only read the short stories of authors i know i like and skip the rest, because for the most part they are worse then the full book of a series so they can only turn me off from a book i might eventually try

Small Blonde Hippy said...

I occasionally read anthologies but I'm not a big fan of short fiction, because I love long, involved stories I can get my teeth into. That said, there have been some awesome anthologies - Daughter of Regals by Stephen Donaldson for example.

Yagiz said...

I really enjoy reading short fiction but I still humbly think that it suits better horror and sci-fi.

Tom Lloyd said...

I'm not really a fan of anthologies - while I might enjoy some of the stories, i rarely finish the book. I think the mix of styles doesn't help, but it's also length in an odd way. I'm fine on a short collection of stories by one author, it feels like there's more cohesion there, but 500 pages of bite-sized chunks of varying styles and only a theme to tie them together, it doesn't really do it for me.

On the short fiction front though, when I do get around to buying a kindle or whatever, I suspect I'll buy lots of novellas to read on that, seems like the perfect way to get an intro to an author's work.

Bets Davies said...

No. I generally don't read short stories. I don't like the literary format, though I respect it. With the exception of a few killer stories ("The Yellow Wall Paper"--not fantasy), I'm not that into the scene. What short stories are great for is that they make good movies. Books are too involved and don't make good movies. That's why I love books. The sheer dedication to creating and evolving characters.

To be fair, I understand the editors consider the order and choice of stories as an art similar to the playlist. As I take playlists very seriously, I respect that, and have been considering giving a whack at an anthology again with that in mind.

Speaking of movies, for shits and giggles:

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