The Fantasy Hall of Fame (1998)

Robert Silverberg
The Fantasy Hall of Fame (1998) Cover

The Fantasy Hall of Fame


"The Fantasy Hall of Fame" introduces the Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader to fantasy stories that the ‘Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America' felt deserved a place of prominence in the world of speculative fiction. They selected 30 stories from 1939 -1990 that they considered classics.

It ranges from the humorously unserious good natured fun of fantasy to the more serious thought provoking ideas fantasy has to offer. It includes the lighthearted, the terrifying, the morality tale and the mini-epic. Most of the stories are written by writers known for their science fiction.

This anthology contains....

a man whom water cannot touch, a mermaid who enters a swimming completion, 2 tales of biblical fiction, an encyclopedia from another world, 3 tales of werewolves one involving fighting Nazis, another one that takes place at a dinner party and one where the werewolf is involved in a magical war where the enemy has a jinni for a weapon, a killer baby, a classic dystopian tale involving rocks, an intelligent whirlwind, 2 tales of sword and sorcery, creatures called Gnoles, a unicorn and a unholy virgin, a confused golem, a deal with the devil, a ball where death is the guest of honor, a dead giant washed on the shores of a village and how the locals react to it, a valley that could have been designed by time lords, a drug induced version of god, a time-traveling intelligent model-t, a woman who sucks the life out of men and who chases one that got away, a boy who perpetually stays five (perhaps the best in the collection) a detective mystery involving dreams, a chess match with a unicorn for the fate of the world, computer generated angels, a girl who can transform into a jaguar, a girl who stumbles into a strange world of north American desert animals, and the evolution of bears.

This walk through the halls of fame has some real masterpieces worth reading, some stories worth forgetting and a few that belong somewhere else. If I were picking out the stories, there are quite a few I would throw out and others I would bring in and of course some I would leave as is. It's overall an entertaining (if long) read of some truly great fantasy stories. Grade B.