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Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. August 2013

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Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2012:
Eighteen short tales about witches by some of the wickedest names in fantasy make for a rich anthology. . . . The writers are simply stellar: Ellen Kushner, Frances Hardinge, Charles de Lint, Tanith Lee, Ellen Klages and Holly Black, among others. Neil Gaiman’s contribution is a witchy, weird poem. Garth Nix’s “A Handful of Ashes” features a library and librarian. Delia Sherman’s “The Witch in the Woods” is beautiful and romantic, with deer and bear shape-shifters and no small darkness. Jim Butcher has a Harry Dresden story (“B is for Bigfoot”), and it’s terrific. Jane Yolen makes Hans Christian Andersen’s life a tale itself, and Patricia McKillip’s “Which Witch” makes loud music and crow magic elegantly. The best, however, may be Peter S. Beagle’s “Great-Grandmother in the Cellar” (yes, she is, and she goes back there, too, but not the way she came, in this "Sleeping Beauty" variant). Readers will find much to enjoy. . . .

Booklist, October 1, 2012:
This 18-story anthology, featuring such notable authors as Garth Nix, Ellen Klager, Margo Lanagan, and Patricia McKillip, offers up an enjoyable witches’ brew of tales. In Charles de Lint’s “Barrio Girls,” two teen fans of vamp fiction find the genre’s glamour diminishes upon meeting a nasty, real-life brujá. Neil Gaiman’s eloquently and evocatively written “Witch Work” explores the power of witchery, emotions, and nature. Jane Yolen’s “Andersen’s Witch” interweaves elements of the iconic author’s life and writings into an inventive meta-tale. These mature, edgy stories feature supernatural elements and also deal with resonating themes, from bullying to self-discovery and self-determination. The mainly young adult protagonists, whether they encounter, become, or already are witches, find their lives transformed--and sometimes transform the lives of others--in diversely magical ways. Editor Strahan’s introduction provides background and context for witches and witch types (and also touches upon the origins of the infamous pointy hat). Lively author biographies are appended.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October 2012:
Eighteen notable authors brew up some real magic in this enchanting collection of brief tales about the witchy ways of witches. Strahan’s introductory note explains that his inspiration to create such a collection came directly from his fascination with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, and readers who found a friend in Tiffany Aching will find plenty of kindred spirits here. The tones range from smartly snarky, as in Frances Hardinge’s “Payment Due,” in which a teen witch uses her powers to harass the repo man, to sweetly romantic, as in Delia Sherman’s “The Witch in the Woods” in which a shape-shifting healer must fight for her love’s life. Neil Gaiman casts a spell with a possibly funny, possibly melancholy, but definitely odd poem, while Holly Black, Tanith Lee, and Charles de Lint play on themes of expectations and reality. A few stories are a little overtidily concluded, but several close on an enticingly open note: the final scene of Ellen Klages’ “The Education of a Witch,” involving a vindictive preschooler, is especially haunting. So grab your hat, your wart, and don’t forget the eye of newt—you’ll want to spend the witching hour and more with this coven.

School Library Journal, November 2012:
This collection of short stories has one common theme: witches. Good, evil, male, female, old, and young–these magical beings and tales of their exploits are all included. The anthology starts and ends with the best of the bunch, kicking off with Diane Peterfreund’s “Stray Magic,” which tells of a stray dog rescued by a shelter worker that begins to communicate with her and pleads for help finding her master (a wizard to whom the Labrador is the “familiar”). The final story is Margo Lanagan’s “Crow and Caper, Caper and Crow,” another gem detailing Pen, an aging witch, embarking on a journey across the sea to bless her brand-new baby granddaughter–but the clever witch is in for a surprise when she lays eyes on the new addition. Peter S. Beagle’s “Great-Grandmother in the Cellar” assaults readers much like the protagonist’s great-grandmother claws her way out of the dirt in the wine cellar where her bones have been buried for years. Yet, great-grandmother is the good witch in this spooky tale. Another standout is Ellen Klages’s “The Education of a Witch,” about a young girl’s growing fascination with witches. It includes the most memorable scene in the book. As supernatural-themed stories are extremely popular and good short-story collections are hard to find, this one is an excellent addition. Though a few of the selections are wordy and not particularly compelling, the great ones more than make up for them.

Children's Literature:
Fantasy lovers will enjoy the great stories by authors they are familiar with but also some new ones to add to their reading lists.

From the Hardcover edition.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

JONATHAN STRAHAN is the editor of more than 40 books, including the Locus and Aurealis award-winning anthologies The Starry Rift, Life on Mars, The New Space Opera (Vols. 1 & 2), the bestselling The Locus Awards (with Charles N. Brown), and the Eclipse and the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year anthology series. He won the World Fantasy Award for his editing in 2010, and has been nominated for the Hugo Award for his editing four times. He has also won the Aurealis Award three times, the Ditmar Award six times, and is a recipient of the William Atheling Award for his criticism amd review. He has been Reviews Editor for Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction And Fantasy Fields since 2002.


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HASH(0x906fa270) von 5 Sternen Wide range of 18 tales of a witchly nature 13. Oktober 2012
Von Kathy Davie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
"B is for Bigfoot",
(Bigfoot Trilogy, 3 published) &
(Bigfoot, 1 chronological)
Dresden Files: Short Stories, 15

An anthology of eighteen short stories revolving around a theme of witches and magic.

The Stories
Diana Peterfreund`s "Stray Magic" is so sweet! Peterfreund created a lovely story that really pulled my heartstrings with a seemingly abandoned dog who desperately wants his master back.

Frances Hardinge`s "Payment Due" is wicked good! Even short stories can suffer in this economy and Caroline does her best to ensure the bailiff understands how his attitude affects those upon whom he preys.

Garth Nix`s "A Handful of Ashes" was excellent! A nice turnaround in which evil is repaid while saving a world. Nix creates an entire world with amazing characters in such a short span of pages.

Holly Black`s "Little Gods" is about a teenager's search for belonging and the Beltane celebration she and her new friends attend. It's an eye-opening weekend for Ellery. This was okay. I know Black wanted to make a point, but it was too laid back for me.

Charles de Lint`s "Barrio Girls" is both typical and atypical de Lint. I haven't read all of de Lint yet so I may well be wrong. The typical is the kindness Abuelo requires of them to offset the bruja and gain revenge for Pepé. A sweet read by a master.

Tanith Lee`s "Felidis" is in the fairytale style, but with a twist. It's sweet.

Neil Gaiman`s Witch Work is actually a two-page poem about time, revenge, and hurt.

Ellen Klages`s "Education of a Witch" is scary! It was Lizzy's obsession for Maleficient in Sleeping
Beauty that prompts Lizzy along the path of magic. And it's her baby sister Rosemary's arrival and need for attention that encourages its use. Klages understands children very well and provides a chilling scenario of vengeance. New parents should read this and pay special attention to their children. Lizzy's feelings are reasonable; it's her child's viewpoint and all that she knows.

Ellen Kushner`s "Threefold World" is another excellent story! Set back in time in Finland when it was ruled by Sweden, Kushner uses the conflict of oppressor versus oppressed to create an ambitious character, Elias, who believes that his own Finnish background is nothing to be proud of. He sets off at the end of the school year to earn the money needed for the next year's tuition and it's a Finnish folktale come to life that changes his mind and his life.

Delia Sherman`s "Witch in the Wood" is another fairytale combining several different elements from the genre. The prince forced into stag form by day, the evil wizard, and the orphaned young witch who rescues the stag. It's cute.

Patricia A. McKillip`s "Which Witch" is not a typical McKillip, lacking her lyrical turns of phrase. I'd have thought more de Lint or Lackey with the witches who form a band, dress artistically, and the urban setting. It is an excellent read and I'd love to see it develop into a series.

Tim Pratt`s "Carved Forest" is safety in a cage. Carlos definitely takes a chance in this one when he takes action to rescue his sister and keep her memory alive. Scary with a sweet ending.

M. Rickert`s "Burning Castles" was very confusing with a very obscure ending. It's more like the author had an outline that was dashed off and somehow a lot of the details were forgotten. It doesn't encourage me to seek out other works by Rickert.

Isobelle Carmody`s "Stone Witch" was excellent! A quest of a test with thrown-in confusions in true fairytale style, albeit with a contemporary twist and a chance for a mutual rescue.

Jane Yolen`s "Andersen's Witch" provides a theory as to why Hans Christian Andersen wrote his fairytales and incorporates its own fairytale elements.

Jim Butcher`s "B is for Bigfoot" is supposedly the third in the Bigfoot Trilogy, but reads more like it should have been the first. So, I'm confused. It's Harry Dresden's first meeting with River Shoulders, Irwin's dad, and his first meeting with Irwin where he helps him defuse an escalating situation at school.

Peter S. Beagle`s "Great-Grandmother in the Cellar" is another good tale incorporating fairytale elements with a short peek into a catastrophe that hits a small family and requires intercession from the dead.

Margo Lanagan`s "Crow and Caper, Caper and Crow" is another sweet tale incorporating fairytale elements with a grandmother wanting to grant a grandchild wishes. Lanagan includes the age-old "mother-in-law versus wife" conflict. It reads more like the start of a tale than one complete in itself.

The Cover
The cover has a glowy brown background with a black cauldron at the base pouring forth purple steam with authors' names and, just to ensure that we remember the theme of this collection of short stories, a witch's hat is parked right next to it.

The title reflects the theme as well--it's all Under My Hat.
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HASH(0x906fb498) von 5 Sternen So dangerous 21. September 2012
Von Guede Nimbo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I buy most compilations for one author. As alwayse when I'm done reading I've had to buy at least 4-6 more books from authors I just found. It's so dangerous but so good. Buy this book at your own risk you may have to buy more by the time your done reading.
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HASH(0x901360cc) von 5 Sternen Bewitchingly compiled for witches of every age... 2. Februar 2013
Von Tamara J. Campbell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Loved this charming collection of light, easy reading. As I was aware that this book had been compiled to be appropriate for Strahan's daughters...I did not expect "slap your face" stories filled with obscenities, sex, noir and violence. The stories are sweet, scary, spooky and thought provoking. A perfect treat for the end of a long tense day.
Plus...I'd read the back of a fertilizer bag if Peter Beagle wrote it.
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HASH(0x9086df6c) von 5 Sternen Excellent anthology 5. Juni 2013
Von Cecelia Larsen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I've undergone a transformation. For most of my life I thought of short stories as the second-class citizens of the reading world. Why read a short story anthology when you could pick a thick book that would keep you reading the same story for hours? I wanted epic stories, the longer the better.

Things have changed since those days. I don't have hours-long blocks of time to spend immersed in a book (unless I want to stay awake all night and then deal with a reading hangover at work the next day). Instead, I have a twenty-five minute bus commute, a fifteen minute lunch, one hour before bed. In those moments, a brief, vivid story is sometimes all that I can digest. And an anthology, created to collect related short stories or novellas, is the perfect solution. It is this change in thinking and change in reading habits that led me to list `read more short stories' as one of my goals for 2013. And I did just that by picking up Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan.

Under My Hat is one of the strongest anthologies I've ever read. Usually there are a couple of excellent entries, a few that register as fair, and one or two that are simply mediocre. The quality of this anthology was `good and/or great' across the board. The theme, of course, is magic. Specifically, magic that requires a hat: witchy magic. Strahan gave the authors some flexibility within that theme, but all of the stories have a connection to the central motif. Even within a strong anthology I had my favorites, and the mini-reviews for those stories follow below.

Payment Due by Frances Hardinge - When an unwelcome intruder takes the things that matter to a girl and her grandmother, something must be done - and it may be a bit... unnatural. I have never, to my knowledge, read Frances Hardinge before. I will remedy my ignorance posthaste, because this little story was not only about revenge and magic, it also managed funny, tragic, menacing, and heartwarming all in one go.

A Handful of Ashes by Garth Nix - A school bully awakens old magic that should have remained buried, and it's up to a few intrepid student witches to protect their lives and outwit the other side. It doesn't surprise me that a Garth Nix story should be one of my favorites of the collection. Nix's entry highlights the advantages of working hard, overcoming obstacles and paying attention to history - which are life skills too (not just magic).

Which Witch by Patricia A. McKillip - Bandmates may be facing a menace blind if a crow familiar can't communicate to and protect his chosen witch. Faceoff at show time. Though short, this story is packed with detail. Multiple character perspectives widen the scope, and while the threat is deadly, the focus is light and fun overall.

Great-Grandmother in the Cellar by Peter S. Beagle - When a witch curses his sister and threatens to keep her asleep forever, a young man makes the fateful decision to dig up his great-grandmother's bones. This story is gruesome, hilarious, (again) revenge-filled awesome. Just dark and unpredictable enough to make one shiver, while surprising the reader into laughs and an acknowledgement of the author's skill.

Crow and Caper, Caper and Crow by Margo Lanagan - Even across many miles, Pen knows it's time for her granddaughter's birth. The journey changes her, and her granddaughter will alter her even more. When I first read Lanagan last year I predicted that I would be coming back to her writing. Here's the proof that I was right. The tale of this woman's journey and choices is beautiful, haunting, and human.

In all, Under My Hat is a delicious anthology: it combines wonderful work by some of the best fantasists in the business, and brings those stories to the reader in one delightful package. It's early yet, but I predict that it'll be in the running for best of the year.

Recommended for: fans of fantasy and the short story form, anyone who imagines magic in the everyday (or would like to), and the uninitiated reader who would like to sample the wares of some of the greatest (living) writers of fantasy.

(review originally posted at: [...]
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HASH(0x9066160c) von 5 Sternen Interesting 19. November 2012
Von Dsolo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I bought this for Jim Butcher's Bigfoot story, which was great, but I found most of the stories entertaining. Worth it.
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