This is one of the cooler ideas I’ve seen come out of the pagan publishing genre in recent years. There are lots of fiction writers in the pagan community, and not a lot of venues for them to share their works–especially when compared to nonfiction writers. So I thought this was a great idea from the start. Add in that I love fiction anthologies, and this book already had a good start in my mind.
There aren’t any bad stories in this collection of thirteen. There were a few that didn’t really capture my interest, but they were still well-written, so as far as I’m concerned how good a story is really depends on what you like in a story. Here’s a sampling of my favorites out of the collection:
–”Dead and (Mostly) Gone” by Deborah Blake: this was a fantastic opener to the collection, featuring a witch who works for a police department finding missing people–who just happen to be dead. So what happens when the chief comes in with a special request? A good story, that’s what!
–”Silkie’s Diary” by A.C. Fisher Aldag: written as though by a teenaged selkie raised by humans, the voice in this story is spot-on! Teen angst mixes with supernatural occurrences and excellent descriptive talent to make this one of the most creative tales in the bunch.
–”A Nose For Magic” by Eugie Foster: this was an adorable story, and not just for the skunk familiar! One of the more unique interpretations of the witch’s familiar, and what happens when a non-magical person meets up with a witch.
–”Under a Double Rainbow” by Sophie Mouette: Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, shows up at a women’s spirituality festival. Love, healing, and a healthy dose of sex ensue. A lovely tale with just the right amount of mild erotica, and a great weaving together of several subplots.
There are nine other award-winning tales in this collection, and it’s well worth the cover price. If you want a light read that’s well above most of the fiction in print these days, and a variety of interpretations of just what “pagan fiction” is, pick up a copy of The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction.
~review by Lupa
Llewellyn Publications/PanGaia Magazine
pp. 228, $18.95