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Best of British Fantasy 2018

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Best of British Fantasy 2018

I was surprised to discover that The Best of British Fantasy 2018 (editor: Jared Shurin), which I got a review copy of from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer programme, was the first volume of this collection. There has been a long tradition of British fantasy writing, so it was probably about time and I think this anthology serves as an excellent start.

Swords and sorcery? This collection has it all, although not necessarily in the same tale. Two particular stories that stood out in that respect were The Dance of a Thousand Cuts by Liam Hogan and The Prevaricator by Matthew Hughes. The former is the sword tale – almost science fiction but spiralling towards a tragic and poignant ending. Meanwhile, the latter is the magic one and a more salutary fable all round.

As with any anthology, it is unlikely everything will be to your taste, but Shurin has pulled together a varied repast and it certainly meets the essential goal of such a volume, to plant a few names that might draw attention again in future. Fantasy and gently fantastic.