Fantasy Gone Wrong
by Martin H. Greenberg
Review by Paul Haggerty
DAW Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0756403804
Date: 05 September, 2006 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
As you would expect, some tales are better (or at least funnier) than others, but each tale will get you thinking.
"Goblin Lullaby" by Jim C. Hines introduces the smart goblin. Or at least smarter than most of the others, and a good deal more practical than the pack of adventurers she has to deal with. Somehow the fact that she's an old lady with a lifetime (regardless of the actually tally of years) of experience looking over the infants transcends species and you just know that no matter what else might happen, she's going to end up on top. Look for the character Jig to show up in the forthcoming Goblin Quest this November. Unfortunately in this short story he's just a baby and spends most of his time soiling his diaper, so there's not a lot of character development just yet.
"Food Fight" by Alan Dean Foster covers the case of a man whose food talks to him on a regular basis, and the psychologist who doesn't believe a word of it.
"Crumbs" by Esther Friesner posits the time years after Hansel and Gretel's adventure with the witch in the gingerbread house. Of course history is written by the victors, and perhaps the tale wasn't quite what we've been led to believe. Perhaps the twins weren't quite so innocent and pure. And now Hanson, son of Hansel, is returning to the woods, where nothing is as simple, or as mundane as we remember it. Oh, and did anyone mention the witch had a daughter?
"The Murder of Mr. Wolf" by Josepha Sherman introduces the Bo Peep detective agency and the case of who killed the big bad wolf.
And "Finder's Keepers" by Janny Wurts should serve as a reminder that even the most powerful, all knowing, (and even evil) should be careful of what they wish for. The small and powerless have a tendency to give it to them; right where it hurts.
There are ten more stories for you to discover and enjoy. Don't let the fact that I didn't mention them imply that they were any less enjoyable. So take a stroll on the fantasy side. I think you'll be glad you did.