Tales of star-crossed lovers have been around since the
beginning of storytelling. Long before Bella and Edward
there was Heathcliff and Cathy, Romeo and Juliet, Pyramus
and Thisbe. What draws us to these tales of doomed and
tragic love? It's hard to say, but we can't seem to resist
a good story of love denied.
In SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, editors Martin and Dozois have
gathered 17 of these stories, all by top-notch fantasy and
romance writers. They're a mixed bag; some better than
others, as is always the case with anthologies. The stand-
out (for me) is the first story of the lot, Love
Hurts by Jim Butcher. Wizard Harry Dresden
and his pal Murphy travel downstate to the Illinois State
Fair. Sadly, they miss seeing the butter cow but manage to
have a lively time chasing down a killer who
targets...lovers, what else? Demon Lover by
Cecelia Holland is another outstanding offering that
illustrates if you think a deal is too good to be true then
it probably is. Neil Gaiman weighs in with a tale of
a man whose imaginary girlfriend suddenly and unexpectedly
makes an appearance in his life. In After the
Blood, Marjorie M. Liu presents a creepy
post-apocalyptic America complete with zombies and
vampires. Authors Jo Beverly, Diana Gabaldon, Carrie
Vaughn, Tanith Lee, L. N. Hanover, Robin Hobb, Jacqueline
Carey, Lisa Tuttle, Linnea Sinclair, Mary Jo Putney,
Melinda Snodgrass, Yasmine Galenorn and Peter S.
Beagle all contribute original stories to the mix. A
completely satisfying volume.
Songs of Love and Death is a starstudded cross-genre
anthology that explores the borderlands of fantasy, science
fiction, and romance. Featuring stories from and about the
heart, these tales of romance are played out against every
kind of setting, from ghost-haunted fantasy landscapes to
mile-long spaceships in transit among the stars.
Including some of the most well-known, bestselling, and
award-winning authors in the industry, this must-have
collection features original stories by Neil Gaiman, Diana
Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, Marjorie M. Liu, Robin Hobb, Jo
Beverley, Jacqueline Carey, and many more.
The Marrying Maid by Jo Beverley
I'm delighted to be part of this eclectic selection of
stories which explore many aspects of fantastic love. In my
Georgian story, a faery curse hangs over the family of Rob
Loxleigh unless he can find his destined bride, his
"marrying maid." But what if she flees such a rakish aristocrat?