Sprung for the hardcover. It’s a fun read and retrospective.
I ordered the special edition as soon as I saw the post about its release. Haven’t read all the selections yet, but so far they have been excellent. Of the authors I had already read, the stories chosen represent them well. Jewels in the Forest is probably the perfect introduction to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd & Gray Mouser stories.
I had my fingers crossed John Bellairs would be represented, maybe some short story I hadn’t tracked down before. But I understand the author’s desire not to publish excerpts, and The Face in the Frost is really Bellairs’ only fantasy work that I know of. But the wonderful mix of whimsy and humor, with touches of terror, makes that short novel one of my favorite fantasy stories.
Besides, Bellairs deserves better recognition than that mess of a movie they made from his excellent YA horror novel, The House with a Clock in Its Walls.
If you enjoy this sort of thing, you might be interested in Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Joe Goodman dove deeply into Appendix N and came out the other side with a game that really embodies its crazy nature. A magic system that has consequences, and can permanently affect the caster. Bonding oneself to a powerful being in exchange for power of your own. Strangely shaped dice! Well worth checking out:
They also publish a Swords and Sorcery fiction magazine that has some pretty good stuff in it if you’re looking for more fiction along these lines:
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