Thursday, October 16, 2008

Misspelled edited by Julie E.Czerneda

This book contains seventeen stories which is more like smorgasbord of writing. It’s a little taste of different writers so I don’t have to suffer through a whole book if I don’t like the author or the story. I liked quite a few of the stories and there were some which offer me hope of getting published in the fantasy genre. The stories primarily deal with spells gone wrong or right depending on the viewpoint of the speller or spellee. Sometimes it comes out okay, but sometimes the results are not all it’s cracked up to be.

One of the stories I really liked was one by Kristine Smith (I had to because we almost share the same name, the first name being slightly different). Her story, “8 rms, full bsmt,” dealt with a demon in the house and the main character being the cleaner. Kind of reminiscent of What’s a Ghoul to Do? except the main character uses spells and not reason to deal with unwanted house guests. This one also has a touch of romance in it which made it even more enjoyable. I’m a sucker for romance. I like a story with a touch of romance, not full blown sex scenes, but a hint of love doesn’t hurt. There were other stories that were cute and enjoyable. “The Demon in the Cupboard” was a cute story by Nathan Azinger about a husband who accidentally conjures a demon by using his witch wife’s spices and has to hide the wreaking obsessed demon (it is his job description) during dinner. There was also “Chafing the Bogey Man” by Kristen Britain about a professional golfer who uses a spell to help his game, but doesn’t realize sudden death is exactly that. To the golfer’s defense, he couldn’t read the Gaelic fine print.

Stories that didn’t strike a cord with me where “Cybermancer” about an internet witch who accidentally pulls her sister into another realm and has to rescue her. I felt the story was rather dated and tried to marry the internet and witchcraft, unsuccessfully, I thought. The main character burned spells written in code onto a disc, but because of a corrupted file, a literal worm, the disc is corrupted and the spell goes awry. There was too much angst and the story tried to magical without any magic except for the part where the main character consults a witch on how to help her sister. The story, “A Spell of Quality” by Kate Paulk was too bogged down by details and too busy trying to simulate an office environment. “The Mysterious Case of Spell Zero” by Rob St Martin tried to mix English charm with witchcraft, but it seemed a little dry and disjointed.

Many of the stories I enjoyed, some I didn’t care for, but I got to taste all items on the menu which is why I like anthologies. They’re a nice break and a good way to “test read” authors.
Amazon Price: $7.99


hamilcar barca said...

just wondering - how many of the (presumably) 17 authors were male?

Christina said...

"Presumably" at least 7, one used initials and several other authors I can't tell if the name is for a male or female. There's also the risk of pseudonyms. Here's a list of the stories and authors (to let you decide ;-) ):
Tripping Off the Tongue by Lesley D Livingston
rms, full bsmt by Kristine Smith
Eye of the Beholder by Kevin G Maclean
Cybermancer by Janet Elizabeth Chase
Eye of Newt by Marc Mackay
Chafing the Bogey Man by Kristen Britian
A Perfect Circle by Kent Pollard
Reading, Writing, Plagues by Kell Brown
Totally Devoted 2 U by John Zakour
The Mysterious Case of Spell Zero by Rob St. Martin
Crosscut by S.W. Mayse
Bitch Bewitched by Doranna Durgin
The Witch of Westmoreland Avenue by Morgan S Brilliant
A Spell of Quality by Jate Paulk
Demon in the Cupboard by Nathan Azinger
Untrained Melody by Jim C Hines
Yours for Only $19.99 by Shannan Palma

hamilcar barca said...

i ask because - although the theme (spellcasting gone haywire) is theoretically gender-neutral and quite intriguing; the book's cover screams "Chick Fic". which is supported by the fact that the majority of the authors are women.

Christina said...

The stories were typically gender-neutral and only a few screamed "Chick Fic." I'm not a fan of "Chick Fic," even though I like cozies, so if more of them were like that, I would've dropped the book.

hamilcar barca said...

kewl! i'll look for this at the used bookstore tomorrow.