Greyhaven: An Anthology of Fantasy

Greyhaven: An Anthology of Fantasy - Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert A. Cook, Randall Garrett, Adrienne Martine-Barnes, Elisabeth Waters, Jon DeCles, Diana L. Paxson, Paul Edwin Zimmer, Anodea Judith, Susan Shwartz, Vicki Ann Heydron, Phillip Wayne, Patricia Shaw Mathews, James Ian Elliot, Fiona Lynn Zimmer I got this book ages ago on the strength of it being edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley, one of my favorite authors back when this book was published in 1983. "Greyhaven" is one of the homes that MZB lived in, and "the spiritual home" to a community of writers, friends and family of the author who write speculative fiction. The publisher even grandiosely compared them to the Bloomsbury group of Virginia Woolf. No, just no. A really fine short story is as memorable or more than any novel. I recently reread an anthology of shorts by Isaac Asimov which I hadn't read in decades. I remembered most stories just from their titles, and the rest within paragraphs. These weren't memorable at all, and on reacquaintance a large number struck me as amateurish to undistinguished--the kind of stories I can't see as published professionally had the writers not been connected to a bestselling writer. "They Come and Go" and "Wrong Number" inspired only a huh??? and many of the stories struck me as weak. In particular Anodea Judith's "Bedtime Story" She also provided the weakest story in the first Sword and Sorceress anthology, otherwise a collection much, much stronger than this anthology. There was only one story I can say I truly enjoyed, Vicki Ann Heydron's "Cat Tale" about a woman transformed into a puma. That was light-hearted and fun with enough vivid details and strong storytelling to really put me into the story. Too many of the other stories struck me as, oh RenFaire, Pagan clap trap, including one that took seriously the efficacy of human sacrifice. Even Marion Zimmer Bradley's own contribution wasn't one I cared much for--her Lythande story titled "The Incompetent Magician" which can also be found in the anthology Lythande collecting stories with that character. Besides MZB, the only names here I think fantasy readers will likely recognize are Randall Garrett (Heydron's husband) and Diana L. Paxson--I admit not a favorite author of mine and I didn't find her contribution, "Kindred of the Wind" very striking. I (mildly) liked Garrett's contribution, "Just Another Vampire Story" which I found aptly named. Just don't see this collection as a keeper.