By Bards and Sages PublishingPublished: Oct. 15, 2009Words: 43,560Language: EnglishAvailable:Each installment of the Bardic Tales and Sage Advice speculative fiction anthology highlights the amazing wealth of talent found in the speculative fiction genres. Originally a stand-alone anthology, the Bardic Tales and Sage Advice series has evolved to showcase the winners of the Bards and Sages Quarterly’s Readers’ Choice Awards and the Bards and Sages Publishing Annual Charity Writing Competition.In the debut book in the series:As the gods prepare for their long sleep, a young woman must bear the burden of keeping their memory alive in “Winter of the Gods”.A Police Officer discovers you can ban the weapons of destruction, but not humanity’s destructive nature in “Netherlands Roulette”.A Young Man develops a new perspective thanks to a stolen antique in “The Glass Eye”.Enjoy these and other fine tales, then enjoy future installments in the series by visiting Bards and Sages.-Information Taken from Kobo Books
This was quite a robust collection of varied stories and I enjoyed quite a bit. However this also has a larger selection of stories I just didn’t quite click with or understand the conclusion. This was interesting to me, as most collections I generally enjoy most of the stories. That said I enjoyed more than I didn’t so I ultimately had a good time with this collection.
Winter of the Gods by Elena Clark – The story starts slowly, introducing the characters, the world and the main conflict: What happens when your kingdom is conquered and you must forsake your religion?
I really loved the world crafted here along with Yana’s journey. There are great details such as ‘She gave no indication of what she thought of women who had sunk down to doing men’s work.’ The more fantastical aspects of the forest and the wolves were lovely as well. It felt as if I were reading a dark fairytale.
The Luck Card by Jenue Brosinski – I wasn’t too sure about the start but I really love the twist this story took and the ultimate ending. Usually stories with luck/wishes end in a way you expect but this one took a different path.
In the Beginning by Jerry Kline – A cybernetic angel saves children in the post-apocalypse. This story went by fast and had a wonderful ending.
Heroes by Anthony Cooke – Really short but to the point. Quickly paints a world and story about superheroes on the job.
Dragon’s Ire, Phoenix Flame – A story that starts out as a dragon hunt moves to a sorrowful tale of grief and redemption. The writing depicting Joshua from arrogant to humbled was excellent. I felt surprisingly moved considering the length of the tale. Not to mention the world and magic depicted was interesting. I loved how the phoenix fit in.
I enjoyed but don’t have much to say…
I liked these stories/poems but either don’t have too much to say or don’t want to spoil the experience.
- Reflexions by Deanna Marie Emmerson – A lovely epic poem, I appreciated the descriptions.
- The Cat Lady by Melissa Herman – Nice set up, pacing and an excellent twist. There were some things in here that as a cat owner I related to too well.
- The Face She Remembers by Swapna Kishore – Extremely short, but able to paint a picture before it ends.
- The New Guy by Ashley Tamerline – A supernatural tale of Russell’s first day on the job. A brief, fun reminder of why magic doesn’t necessarily make everything better.
- Pirates by Bob Quinn – A fun, piratey poem. Part of the fun for this was imagining a room of drinking pirates chanting this.
- Again – Les Fleurs Du Mal by lynn Veach Sadler – I really like the world and atmosphere of this poem.
- THEM by Mark Torrender – Even if you have a cool SciFi job, you may still hate your boss.
I didn’t really click with these…
Maybe I didn’t like these or maybe I just didn’t understand them…
- Through the Data Storm by David Lawrence – A person experiences various emotions in a comfortable prison. I feel like I get the general points but I don’t think this came together for me.
- Netherlands Roulette by Ross Raffin – A hard-boiled detective reminisces about violent cartoons while trying to solve a suicide. Another one where I could see various points but I didn’t quite grasp the ending. I also didn’t quite grasp if I was supposed to relate to the protagonist or not. Or perhaps that point was meant to be ambiguous. On the other hand its strange see a ‘kids these days’ story without everyone glued to smartphones but this story might predate that.
- The Glass Eye – A young boy tries to get pictures with the girl he likes, but ends up with a trippy glass eye. I followed it until the ending, I’m still not 100% sure about that.
- It Is… by Anthony Cooke – This is a poem. The concept seemed interesting but I don’t think I get it 100%.
Again, a lot of stories to love and perhaps you will get the ones that didn’t seem to click for me. So overall I give this a recommendation if it looks interesting to you.
-The Content Cr_Eater