Monday, January 13, 2020

The Ogre's Wife

The Ogre's Wife: Fairy Tales for Grownups (2002), by Richard Parks, is a collection of fifteen stories collected from magazines and books published in the seven years prior to its compilation. Five come from Realms of Fantasy. Others come from Asimov's, Black Gate, SF Age, and Weird Tales. There is a laudatory introduction by Parke Godwin which rightly notes the eclectic nature of the tales and claims it is "one of the best  SF/fantasy collections I've read in years." Sadly, this is typical overpraise. While the stories are competent and sometimes intriguing, they mostly feel like writings exercises from workshops rather than inspired stories in their own right. And the prose is workmanlike, never exhibiting any special traits or reaching for more than bemused irony.  A decent collection, still, but it didn't make me want to seek out more by this author.

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