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Review: Down These Strange Streets Ed. George RR Martin

Submitted by Doll Believer on November 29, 2011 – 11:00 am3 Comments

Book: Down These Strange Streets
Author: Anthology, Edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois (Urban Fantasy)
Release: October 4, 2011
Reviewer: Believer
Purchase: – Barnes & Noble

All new strange cases of death and magic in the city by some of the biggest names in urban fantasy.

In this all-new collection of urban fantasy stories, editors George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois explore the places where mystery waits at the end of every alley and where the things that go bump in the night have something to fear…

Includes stories by New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Diana Gabaldon, Simon R. Green, S. M. Stirling, and Carrie Vaughn, as well as tales by Glen Cook, Bradley Denton, M.L.N. Hanover, Conn Iggulden, Laurie R. King, Joe R. Lansdale, John Maddox Roberts, Steven Saylor, Melinda Snodgrass, and Lisa Tuttle.

Down These Strange Streets is an anthology of UF stories in the vein of the old Hardboiled and Noir Fiction styles. Each story revolves around a crime that must be solved but unlike their lauded predecessors these stories have a supernatural bent to them.

This anthology could not be better! In fact it is an anthology dream for each story is better than the one before – an amazing feat given the long list of top notch contributors. Every writer here has brought their “A” game.

Some stories are set in the past while others are set in contemporary times. Some stick close to the Noir style which I particularly like – as you see the “Average Joe” struggle to put the pieces of the puzzle together. While others revel in the Hardboiled style with Private Investigators not only trying to solve the case but determine if their client’s on the “up and up”.

The contributors:

- “The Bastard Stepchild” (introduction), by George R.R. Martin
- “Death by Dahlia,” by Charlaine Harris
- “The Bleeding Shadow,” by Joe R. Lansdale
- “Hungry Heart,” by Simon R. Green
- “Styx and Stones,” by Steven Saylor
- “Pain and Suffering,” by S.M. Stirling
- “It’s Still the Same Old Story,” by Carrie Vaughn
- “The Lady Is a Screamer,” by Conn Iggulden
- “Hellbender,”by Laurie R. King
- “Shadow Thieves,” by Glen Cook
- “No Mystery, No Miracle,” by Melinda Snodgrass
- “The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery,” by M.L.N. Hanover
- “The Curious Affair of the Deodand,” by Lisa Tuttle
- “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies,” by Diana Gabaldon
- “Beware the Snake,” by John Maddox Roberts
- “In Red, With Pearls,” by Patricia Briggs
- “The Adakian Eagle,” by Bradley Denton

A few of my favorites:

“The Bleeding Shadow,” by Joe R. Lansdale is a wonderfully scary story with a musical twist on the traditional crossroads mythos.

“Hungry Heart,” by Simon R. Green asks how far will a beautiful witch go to fulfill her ambition?

“It’s Still the Same Old Story,” by Carrie Vaughn gives us insight into the background of one of the most enigmatic characters in her Kitty novels, Rick.

“The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery,” by M.L.N. Hanover offers us a modern view on soul collecting.

“In Red, With Pearls,” by Patricia Briggs includes characters from her Mercy Briggs series and brings new life to the saying “Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.”

But Martin and Dozois take the cake by ending this wonderful anthology with “The Adakian Eagle,” by Bradley Denton. I started to picture the scenes in my mind like an old black and white movie complete with reedy music and tough guy actors like Mitchum and Bogart. Just marvelous!

Have an old school mystery buff on your holiday list? Put Down These Strange Streets in their stocking and a copy in yours, too!

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to read story books. She devoured them because they were full of magical possibilities with every turn of the page. Then the little girl grew up and school work occupied more and more of her time. Eventually the little girl graduated from school, trading in poets & prose for business management & autobiographies. Magic was left behind in her quest for the top and the world became a place filled with “paradigm shifts”, ROI & financial reports. Before she knew it, the girl was a woman who felt out of touch with the world’s magic until she met Birth and her sister Death. While Birth filled her with wonder & happiness; Death filled her with sadness & loss. And so one day she set aside the management books and instead picked up a paperback story filled with vampires, shifters & telepaths. Lo and behold, her passion for these stories blossomed and the woman became a believer in the magic of reading, again. My name is Believer9200 and I believe in the magic of stories because they give me hope.
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