Under My Hat (Short Story Anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan)

Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron - Jim Butcher, Frances Hardinge, Holly Black, Delia Sherman, Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Peter S. Beagle, M. Rickert, Tim Pratt, Margo Lanagan, Isobelle Carmody, Ellen Klages, Jonathan Strahan, Diana Peterfreund, Ellen Kushner, Charles de Lint, Jane Yolen, Garth Nix, Patricia A

Ahh, now this was just the thing for a long train ride, and after binging on epic fantasy last week. 


A short story anthology with 18 stories all about witches, a good mixture of urban fantasy and the more traditional kind, including a couple of fairy tales and even a lovely little poem. All pretty much G rated, as Strahan wanted to put together something his own daughters could read. That said, this includes some masters of the format (Tanith Lee, Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen f'rinstance) and some current masters of the genre (Holly Black, Jim Butcher, Garth Nix among others). And as you may notice, some of those are masters of both.


I was in fact recommended this by my 14 year old daughter who got it from the library, and I really enjoyed it. If you have YA or possibly even MG aged readers in the house who are looking to branch out from YA PNR into more general fare this would be perfect, but a book appropriate for children isn't necessarily just a children's book.


If you're an adult and just interested in getting a taste of a few of the well known voices out there in the fantasy/UF world, this would be a wonderful introduction, because nearly all the authors in this book have entire series of similar work for you to go find if you like something here. And some of them have very distinct voices that this anthology does a really good job showing off. 


As an aside, as much as I ADORE Tanith Lee, if you really want someone to fall in love with her, I would tie them to a chair and read aloud to them the story of Rohise and Fleuer-de-feu instead. It's irresistible. Honest. And I'm pretty sure it's available to read at her website (possibly with the name Bite-Me-Not) - byo tissues. Ditto Gaiman, while the poem in this book is absolutely vintage Gaiman and I loved it, the longer one about how to survive a fairy tail that's in Fragile Things would have been even better to sell his work.


ETA: putting all the words in sentences makes them make sense.