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February Thaw & Other Stories of Contemporary Fantasy

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February Thaw and Other Tales of Contemporary Fantasy is the second e-collection by Tanya Huff and brings together some of the short fiction that helped define the field. From an Imperial Dragon in Toronto's Chinatown, to a heavy-metal retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, to the realization that the ancient gods are one highly dysfunctional family, Huff skews our world February Thaw and Other Tales of Contemporary Fantasy is the second e-collection by Tanya Huff and brings together some of the short fiction that helped define the field. From an Imperial Dragon in Toronto's Chinatown, to a heavy-metal retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, to the realization that the ancient gods are one highly dysfunctional family, Huff skews our world slightly sideways. These seven stories with brand new introductions by the author, remind us that the weird and the wonderful is all around us if we only bother to look.


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February Thaw and Other Tales of Contemporary Fantasy is the second e-collection by Tanya Huff and brings together some of the short fiction that helped define the field. From an Imperial Dragon in Toronto's Chinatown, to a heavy-metal retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, to the realization that the ancient gods are one highly dysfunctional family, Huff skews our world February Thaw and Other Tales of Contemporary Fantasy is the second e-collection by Tanya Huff and brings together some of the short fiction that helped define the field. From an Imperial Dragon in Toronto's Chinatown, to a heavy-metal retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, to the realization that the ancient gods are one highly dysfunctional family, Huff skews our world slightly sideways. These seven stories with brand new introductions by the author, remind us that the weird and the wonderful is all around us if we only bother to look.

30 review for February Thaw & Other Stories of Contemporary Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    The thing I really like about Tanya Huff's writing style is the matter of factness of it. Oh, look, it's a dragon. That's a bit unusual... While I like fantasy with a sense of wonder, which doesn't come through that often in these stories, Huff's brisk and accepting narration makes an interesting change. I'd probably mostly recommend these short stories to people who like Tanya Huff's work already; they're fun stories, but they wouldn't blow you away.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    "February Thaw" from Olympus & What, Ho! Magic read 7/12/2001 re-read 9/28/2012 3/7/2015 "Burning Bright" from Earth/Air/Fire/Water & Relative Magic 9/28/2012 re-read 3/7/2015 "When the Student is Ready" from ApprenticeFantastic & Relative Magic 10/20/2012 3/7/2015 "Jack" from Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City & Finding Magic 10/21/2012 re-read 3/7/2015 "Symbols are a Percussion Instrument" from Tarot Fantastic & What, Ho! Magic read 7/13/2001 re-read 10/22/2012 re-read "February Thaw" from Olympus & What, Ho! Magic read 7/12/2001 re-read 9/28/2012 3/7/2015 "Burning Bright" from Earth/Air/Fire/Water & Relative Magic 9/28/2012 re-read 3/7/2015 "When the Student is Ready" from ApprenticeFantastic & Relative Magic 10/20/2012 3/7/2015 "Jack" from Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City & Finding Magic 10/21/2012 re-read 3/7/2015 "Symbols are a Percussion Instrument" from Tarot Fantastic & What, Ho! Magic read 7/13/2001 re-read 10/22/2012 re-read 3/5/2015 "Shing Li'ung" from DragonFantastic and What, Ho! Magic 7/26/2001 re-read 10/23/2012 re-read 3/5/2015 ♥♥♥"A Midsummer Night's Dream Team" from ElfFantasic and What, Ho! Magic read 1/19/1998 re-read 7/16/2001 re-read 10/24/2012 re-read 3/5/2015 -- 5/15/2018 7 *excellent* stories re-read 6/30/2013 3/7/2015

  3. 4 out of 5

    Li

    I love that Tanya Huff has been re-releasing her short story backlist, and I enjoyed every single one in this collection (which, trust me, is a rather rare occurrence). Standouts for me were A Midsummer's Night Dream Team (a hilarious take on what happens when elves decide they're interested in the Olympics!) and February Thaw (a marital falling out between Hades and Persephone), but the other five shorts were good reads too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    The stories have appeared in various other collections, but I haven't read most of them. Just two. The title story, about a marriage problem in Hades, is aboslutely wonderful. However, I LOVE the retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk complete with attack on manufactured bands. The story about a dragon in Toronto is very powerful. Very good collection. If you are a Henry or Vicki fan, they do not appear in any of the stories. (Which I did not find a problem). Additionally, if you are a Star Wars fan The stories have appeared in various other collections, but I haven't read most of them. Just two. The title story, about a marriage problem in Hades, is aboslutely wonderful. However, I LOVE the retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk complete with attack on manufactured bands. The story about a dragon in Toronto is very powerful. Very good collection. If you are a Henry or Vicki fan, they do not appear in any of the stories. (Which I did not find a problem). Additionally, if you are a Star Wars fan you will enjoy the fine wine that is "Burning Bright". Now, I have to talk to my brother about my Princess Leia glass which he broke years ago!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ann aka Iftcan

    Ok, word of warning--all the stories in this book have been previously released in different anthologies. This is the first time they've all been together tho. My personal favourite story in this anthology is the one that involves the Olympics and the Fae. WONDERFUL humour. Then there was the time that a Celestial Dragon from China visited Canada. Oh, and who'd have thought that the Greek Gods (especially Persephone) were such a funny--and human seeming--disfunctional family.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Miki

    Fun collection of previously published short stories. The title story is about what happens after the legend of Persephone and Hades ends - marital discord among the immortals causes unexpected problems. In another story, a young woman discovers that she isn't exactly human, but really is. A tarot reading becomes unexpectedly concrete, and sometimes a heritage is more than you expect. Huff is a good story teller, and while some of these are stronger than others, overall, there are vivid and Fun collection of previously published short stories. The title story is about what happens after the legend of Persephone and Hades ends - marital discord among the immortals causes unexpected problems. In another story, a young woman discovers that she isn't exactly human, but really is. A tarot reading becomes unexpectedly concrete, and sometimes a heritage is more than you expect. Huff is a good story teller, and while some of these are stronger than others, overall, there are vivid and interesting characters, and I - for one - would love to see more of the universe from "Burning Bright" and "When the Student is Ready." Enjoyable read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ayse

    Such classic Tanya Huff -- I love the way she doesn't shy away from setting the story in Canada and making it clear that it is not just some generic American city. I also love the little in-jokes for Canadians -- a few had me laughing out loud at times. These stories, though a little dated with the references to tech, were delightful examples of what urban fantasy can be. My favorite was the last story -- A midsummer's night dream team -- spectacularly funny

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elentarri

    This is an entertaining collection of severn urban fantasy short stories, involving everything from a street wizard, Chinese guardian dragons, fairy tale retellings and a dysfunctional ancient Greek deity family (which was really rather sweet at the end).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Dhu

    February Thaw is a collection of short contemporary fantasy from Tanya Huff. Contemporary fantasy - and its wildly successful subgenre, urban fantasy - is everywhere these days, but Huff was one of the early popularisers of the genre, back when most fantasy was epic and pseudo-medieval and heavily influenced by The Lord of the Rings. Oh, there had always been contemporary fantasy floating around - C. S. Lewis and H. G. Wells wrote some contemporary fantasies, and there was a air amount written February Thaw is a collection of short contemporary fantasy from Tanya Huff. Contemporary fantasy - and its wildly successful subgenre, urban fantasy - is everywhere these days, but Huff was one of the early popularisers of the genre, back when most fantasy was epic and pseudo-medieval and heavily influenced by The Lord of the Rings. Oh, there had always been contemporary fantasy floating around - C. S. Lewis and H. G. Wells wrote some contemporary fantasies, and there was a air amount written for children, such as Mary Norton’s The Borrowers. But it wasn’t really until a few authors like Susan Cooper, Emma Bull, Peter S. Beagle, and a few other authors - definitely including Huff - started writing large amounts of contemporary fiction that the genre came into its own. In this collection, Huff spins tales about many of the creatures that populate traditional fantasy - elves, dragons, wizards, elementals - placing them in modern settings, reminding us that the imagination can take root anywhere, in any time. From a look at the lives of the Olympian gods in today’s world, to the education of a new wizard, to a spiritual adventure in which the symbolism of the Tarot comes to life, these seven stories blend the sense of wonder that all fantasy evokes with a modern sensibility and often a large helping of humour.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Thomson

    Really ticked my boxes. My favorite story titles were: Symbols are a Percussion Instrument and A Midsummer Night’s Dream Team.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Baron

    Febuary Thaw ** Burning Bright ** When the Student is Ready ** Jack *** Symbols are a Percussion Instrument ** Shing Li-ung ** A Midsummer Night's Dream Team **

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    February Thaw is another relatively short, inexpensive ebook anthology of Tanya Huff short stories. And much like He Said, Sidhe Said and (especially) Swan’s Braid, it is worth every penny and then some. February Thaw: Persephone has had a fight with her husband, Hades, and gone home to her mother, Demeter. Spring has come unfortunately early, and Demeter isn’t happy to have her relaxing winter cut short. She’s going to have to have words with that son-in-law of hers if she wants things to go February Thaw is another relatively short, inexpensive ebook anthology of Tanya Huff short stories. And much like He Said, Sidhe Said and (especially) Swan’s Braid, it is worth every penny and then some. February Thaw: Persephone has had a fight with her husband, Hades, and gone home to her mother, Demeter. Spring has come unfortunately early, and Demeter isn’t happy to have her relaxing winter cut short. She’s going to have to have words with that son-in-law of hers if she wants things to go back to their almost-happy normal. Burning Bright: A young woman finds out she isn’t what she thinks she is… and she wants to go back to being just a young woman. It’ll take all of the wizards in the world–minus the one who died, of course–to figure out how to replicate the feat that made her human in the first place. I love the two young women who star in this one. Their friendship crosses wonderful boundaries in quirky ways. When the Student is Ready: This tale is sort of a follow-on to the previous one, although taking part in a different part of the world with almost entirely different characters. A young woman is becoming the next wizard, and that puts her in great danger until she gets her powers under control. Coming to her rescue is the unlikely figure of a rambling, addled homeless man who’s willing to take her on as his apprentice–if he can keep his thoughts together long enough. Jack is a modern-day adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk in which Jack trades a leather jacket for three magic guitar picks, and then tries to save a pretty young singer from a fate worse than death. Jack and his band buddies are hilarious, and I love the quandary the woman finds herself in and how she reacts to it. Symbols are a Percussion Instrument: A busy and thoroughly modern woman gets dragged into a psychic reading by a friend. When she refuses to stick around for the reading, however, the cards get heavy-handed about delivering their messages. She needs to figure out how to reach beyond the everyday for the meaning of symbolism if she’s going to sidestep a potentially nasty ending. Not only is this a delightfully whimsical and funny story, but there was enough tension to really grip me, which is hard to do in a story this abstract! Huff brought it to life marvelously. Shing Li-ung: This is a beautiful story of cultural heritage and magical protection that brought tears to my eyes. A young woman is given a mysterious talisman by her dying grandmother, but her brother may need the protection much more than she does. A Midsummer Night’s Dream Team: Sam is a camera operator at the Olympics, and she starts seeing competitors who aren’t on the program and don’t match any nation she’s ever heard of. Before long she’s taking it nearly in stride, but there’s one event left: basketball. And the fairies don’t plan to let the winner of the final game go unchallenged. On the surface this isn’t my usual type of story, but it’s handled so well through Sam’s choleric nature that it… just works. I’m having so much fun catching up with Tanya Huff’s short stories in her ebook anthologies. I hope she keeps producing them! Longer review available on my site: http://www.errantdreams.com/2014/09/r...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cora

    I enjoyed this collection of contemporary fantasy short stories gathered from different anthologies that Tanya Huff contributed to. While all the stories were entertaining, nothing really stood out to me. I liked the introduction to the each story that discussed what inspired Ms. Huff to write that particular story. However, I think that I missed a central theme that the original anthologies had. It felt like I was reading only a small part of the whole picture and would have enjoyed them more I enjoyed this collection of contemporary fantasy short stories gathered from different anthologies that Tanya Huff contributed to. While all the stories were entertaining, nothing really stood out to me. I liked the introduction to the each story that discussed what inspired Ms. Huff to write that particular story. However, I think that I missed a central theme that the original anthologies had. It felt like I was reading only a small part of the whole picture and would have enjoyed them more within their original collections instead of removed from them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Another e-collection of short stories that first appeared in various anthologies with entertaining introductions from Tanya Huff. I had not read as many of the stories before, but still glad to read and reread these tales.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A collection of 7 stories of urban fantasy. Cranky wizards, a fire elemental, a reminder that George Lucas should have quit while he was ahead, and what REALLY happened to those missing Olympic medals. Witty, imaginative, and tightly constructed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pete731

    Awesome short story collection. Been a fan for awhile, just got this in ebook form, really liked it. Also like the introductions and context for the stories. And of course, I like fiction set in places I know, like Toronto

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Why I'd not found this before, I can't imagine. The first (February Thaw) hooked me immediately because I imagined myself to be Persephone when I was a child. Great retellings or re-imaginings of traditional tales.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Another solid collection, though not quite as enjoyable as the first.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I think my favorite was the dragon story, but I enjoyed the fire elemental one as well. Also, Tanya Huff loves Dean Winchester, lalalalala......

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lori S.

    Fun collection of short stories!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andan

    Huff is one of my favorite authors of novels. I also very much enjoyed this collection of short stories, and recommend it. .. This is not my most eloquent review. But! It is heartfelt review!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen-Leigh

    Another book of short stories. I love stories that take place in and around my town with recognizable landmarks. It makes things cosier. Each story was a finely wrought gem.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Emilsson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Saskia Oostingh

  25. 5 out of 5

    David

  26. 5 out of 5

    Levar Bouyer

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pam Young

  28. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teena

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katmbyrne

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