An anthology of short stories and novellas (novelettes?) "in honour of J.R.R. Tolkien". Spectacular list of contributors: Stephen R. Donaldson, Peter S. Beagle, Andre Norton, Terry Pratchett, Robert Silverberg, Judith Tarr, Gregory Benford, Jane Yolen, Poul and Karen Anderson, Mike Resnick, Emma Bull, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, John Brunner, Harrr Turtledove, Dennis L. McKiernan, Karen Haber, Barry M. Malzberg, and Charles de Lint. First published in '91.
In brief: Not a winner. I've been reading this on and off, a story here or there, for the last 6 months. Despite the stellar list of authors, many of whom are long-time favourites of mine, it just didn't work for me. None of these stories were particularly fabulous examples of any of the authors work, and the attempts to imitate Tolkien's style fell flat. Tolkien, for good or worse, remains for me eminently friendly and readable, and often deeply humorous, whereas a lot of these stories just plodded.
All in all, I'd rather just go read Tanith Lee, who does this kind of thing much better than what's here. Actually, half these authors have done exactly this kind of thing much much better than they did here.
2.5, because it's certainly not bad writing, it's just.. not as good as it should have been.