Fantasy: The Best of the Year (2006 Edition)
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The best stories of the year: here is a collection of the fantasy prose written in 2005, by some of the genre's greatest authors, and selected by Rich Horton, a contributing reviewer to many of the field's most respected magazines. In this volume you'll find stories Peter Beagle, Paul Di Filippo, Neil Gaiman, Theodora Goss, Kelly Link, Gene Wolfe and more.
When the chill slipped like an unwelcome guest between sheet and featherbed and her faded blue eyes came open, Garrett’s hand crept automatically to the pistol under her pillow. Her half-awakened intellect checked her wards and guards. Intact. Despite the muffled impact of her heart against her ribcage, she was as alone as she should have been. The pearl grip cool and heavy in her hand, Garrett sat up, swinging her legs over the edge of her black wood bedstead. Her left hand resting on the ornate
delicate sensors on his head like a crown. COMMCOMM George Saunders Tuesday morning, Jillian from Disasters calls. Apparently an airman named Loolerton has poisoned a shitload of beavers. I say we don’t kill beavers, we harvest them, because otherwise they nibble through our Pollution Control Devices (P.C.D.s) and polluted water flows out of our Retention Area and into the Eisenhower Memorial Wetland, killing beavers. “That makes sense,” Jillian says, and hangs up. The press has a field day.
goodwife’s grain—it is GREGORY FEELEY | 111 barley, with not a peck of wheat—disappears into the grinding maw, and Jack feels a nameless dread that moves him to stand in the doorway. The goody attempts to oversee all stages of the operation, and quarrels fiercely over the division afterwards. “He hath a magic thumb,” she complains to Jack as he pulls the cart—now, from the millstream, mostly uphill—back to her farm. And Jack thrills to think of the ways a miller might divert more than his
lived in the tree had made her a blanket of leaves. “I promised I would come back if I could,” said Pip, “and now I have.” “I’m as glad as can be,” said Hyacinth. “The Thorn King’s been so sad since you went away. When I tell him you’re back, he’ll prepare a feast just for you.” “Will Jack Feather be there?” asked Pip. “I don’t know,” said Hyacinth, looking uncomfortable. “He went away to the mountains, and hasn’t come back. I didn’t want to tell you yet, but—the May Queen’s disappeared! Jack
exactly. I remember that we came here, but I can’t even imagine how I was still capable of walking after all those Bloody Marys. You didn’t carry me, did you?” Considering that she was almost a head taller than I was and, though not bulky, definitely more muscled, I didn’t think it was such an absurd question. But it made her throw back her head and roar with laughter. “No, I’m not possessed of that kind of extraordinary strength. At the moment,” she added, barely under her breath. “Do you