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The Flying Sorcerers: More Comic Tales of Fantasy (Comic Tales of Fantasy #2)

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This sparkling sequel to WIZARDS OF ODD once again turns logic on its head, with a galaxy of star writers and stories. Terry Pratchett, the arch-priest of the genre, leads off with the eccentric figure of DEATH, on new and curious mission, Roald Dahl plays havoc with country superstition, and Arthur C. Clarke shows the funny side of cosmic doom. Add to these dazzling contr This sparkling sequel to WIZARDS OF ODD once again turns logic on its head, with a galaxy of star writers and stories. Terry Pratchett, the arch-priest of the genre, leads off with the eccentric figure of DEATH, on new and curious mission, Roald Dahl plays havoc with country superstition, and Arthur C. Clarke shows the funny side of cosmic doom. Add to these dazzling contributions from masters such as Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Angela Carter, C.S. Lewis, P.G. Wodehouse and Michael Moorcock, and you have a blend of comic fantasy, supernatural extravaganza and sf, that is almost literally in orbit. The title of the book stems from the fact that many of the stories feature characters who can fly - either under their own power or by machines - or they simply run into trouble with aerial objects of one sort or another. Bringing together some of the best fantasy available, THE FLYING SORCERERS is a gloriously bizarre, wonderfully varied collection of stories.


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This sparkling sequel to WIZARDS OF ODD once again turns logic on its head, with a galaxy of star writers and stories. Terry Pratchett, the arch-priest of the genre, leads off with the eccentric figure of DEATH, on new and curious mission, Roald Dahl plays havoc with country superstition, and Arthur C. Clarke shows the funny side of cosmic doom. Add to these dazzling contr This sparkling sequel to WIZARDS OF ODD once again turns logic on its head, with a galaxy of star writers and stories. Terry Pratchett, the arch-priest of the genre, leads off with the eccentric figure of DEATH, on new and curious mission, Roald Dahl plays havoc with country superstition, and Arthur C. Clarke shows the funny side of cosmic doom. Add to these dazzling contributions from masters such as Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Angela Carter, C.S. Lewis, P.G. Wodehouse and Michael Moorcock, and you have a blend of comic fantasy, supernatural extravaganza and sf, that is almost literally in orbit. The title of the book stems from the fact that many of the stories feature characters who can fly - either under their own power or by machines - or they simply run into trouble with aerial objects of one sort or another. Bringing together some of the best fantasy available, THE FLYING SORCERERS is a gloriously bizarre, wonderfully varied collection of stories.

30 review for The Flying Sorcerers: More Comic Tales of Fantasy (Comic Tales of Fantasy #2)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chronographia

    With the caveat that—although this book contains a Pratchett story, it is juvenilia and only of interest to completist Pratchett fans (who are those people anyway??)—the best damn story in this book is by the only woman author included in the book, Angela Carter. A story which is reprinted in a number of other anthologies (Burning Your Boats, The Bloody Chamber), in considerably less tedious company. Go read those instead.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mysteryfan

    Short story collection, so suitable for a commute or plane ride. The stories have nothing to do with flying, the way the book's blurb described it. I also can't agree that it's a collection of comic science fiction and fantasy. It falls more in the category of funny peculiar than funny ha-ha. I will say it includes short stories by some of the classic authors in the genre. That makes it a nice overview of the field.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ryan McArthur

    So far I haven't finished this, but the only thing that raised a chuckle was PG Wodehouse. Even Terry Pratchett's one wasn't as good. I'll read it to the end, but don't hold out much hope so far....

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dane Cobain

    I couldn’t decide whether to give this a four or a five, but in the end, I made the call and I’m happy with it. This book is fascinating in many ways, and it’s pretty much the perfect introduction to the genres of comic fantasy and comic science fiction. Because it’s a collection of short stories, you get to meet a huge range of authors as diverse as Terry Pratchett, C. S. Lewis, Roald Dahl and Arthur C. Clarke. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting much when I started reading this. I mean, I’m a f I couldn’t decide whether to give this a four or a five, but in the end, I made the call and I’m happy with it. This book is fascinating in many ways, and it’s pretty much the perfect introduction to the genres of comic fantasy and comic science fiction. Because it’s a collection of short stories, you get to meet a huge range of authors as diverse as Terry Pratchett, C. S. Lewis, Roald Dahl and Arthur C. Clarke. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting much when I started reading this. I mean, I’m a fan of a bunch of the contributors, but I just didn’t think it was going to be as good as it was. In the end, though, it turned out to be the best collection of assorted stories that I’ve ever read. It’s the kind of book that you just can’t stop reading – there’s so much to take in that you can really read it how you want, whether you decide to dip in and out of it or whether you prefer to work your way through it in one sitting. It’s hard for me to pick a favourite from the stories in the collection, but I will say that I was surprised by the quality of each of the authors – and not just the ones that I already liked to begin with. In fact, this is almost a rallying call for the genres of comic fantasy and comic science fiction, and it signals the arrival of a serious genre of literary significance. It gives you a buzz to see how fictional worlds can be used to reflect the real life situations of the authors who wrote them, and you’ll have a laugh along the way at the same time. Overall, then, if you have an interest in the genre – or if you’d simply like to get started with a comprehensive introduction – there isn’t anywhere better to get started. This book belongs on your bookcase, whatever you’re into. It’s one of those rare books that have a broad appeal – and you might meet a new favourite author.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ana Vicente

    Marvyn Peake's "Danse Macabre" is lovely, but I have no idea why it's included in a collection of comic SF&F stories, and the same with Angela Carter's "The Lady of the House of Love" - while some of the other stories are not necessarily comic in nature, they all have humorous element, but not so much with these two. Piers Anthony's "Possible to Rue" is probably my favourite of all the stories in this book, it starts like a nice little bit of domesticity and then whams you right in the parad Marvyn Peake's "Danse Macabre" is lovely, but I have no idea why it's included in a collection of comic SF&F stories, and the same with Angela Carter's "The Lady of the House of Love" - while some of the other stories are not necessarily comic in nature, they all have humorous element, but not so much with these two. Piers Anthony's "Possible to Rue" is probably my favourite of all the stories in this book, it starts like a nice little bit of domesticity and then whams you right in the paradigm. "Specialist" by Robert Sheckley is another story that upends some established concepts about the nature of things and people. William F. Nolan's retelling of The Hound of the Baskerville's "The Adventure of the Martian Moons" is wonderful, but it mixes four things I love: SF, Sherlock Holmes, hard-boiled detective stories, and a fourth one I'm not disclosing because it would spoil the end. Either way, I might be a bit biased here. Also loved "The Right Side" by John Collier, "The Roaches" by Thomas M. Disch, "A Good Shellacking" by Stanislaw Lem, and Harry Harrison's "The Golden Years of The Stainless Steel Rat"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This collection is a mixed bag. In fact, I only liked one of the stories in the third section. It was "From Gustible's Planet". Part of the poem is that Haining seems to be using the terms "fantasy" and "comic" very boardly. Wodehouse's story, "A Slice of Life" is funny, but it isn't really fantasy. "Danse Macabre" by Peake is a really good spooky story, but it's not funny (neither is the story "Roaches" for that matter). There are some good stories though. "Turntables of the Night" by Terry Pratc This collection is a mixed bag. In fact, I only liked one of the stories in the third section. It was "From Gustible's Planet". Part of the poem is that Haining seems to be using the terms "fantasy" and "comic" very boardly. Wodehouse's story, "A Slice of Life" is funny, but it isn't really fantasy. "Danse Macabre" by Peake is a really good spooky story, but it's not funny (neither is the story "Roaches" for that matter). There are some good stories though. "Turntables of the Night" by Terry Pratchett is good and features Death outside of the Disc. "Sam Small's Better Half" by Eric Knight is a funny and very touching story about a marriage. I didn't know Lassie's creator wrote fantasy. Now I want to find more of his work. "Nasty" by Fredric Brown might just be the best story in the collection, unless it is "The Stone Thing" by Michael Moorcock.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ondřej Puczok

    Četl jsem to v rámci dočítání všech kousků od Pratchetta, přičemž ten samotný mě docela zklamal (jde hned o první kousek). Dalších povídek všech možných autorů je v knize ale víc než dost a dost z nich je zajímavých, překvapivých a povedených. Velká část je však podivuhodná a podivuhodně divná. Někdy jsem si opravdu říkal, že nemám šajn, co to vlastně čtu. Bavilo mě to ale celou dobu :) PS: Co mě naopak nebavilo, byly úvodní medailonky autorů. To bych dal někam na konec jako vysvětlení, ale mezi Četl jsem to v rámci dočítání všech kousků od Pratchetta, přičemž ten samotný mě docela zklamal (jde hned o první kousek). Dalších povídek všech možných autorů je v knize ale víc než dost a dost z nich je zajímavých, překvapivých a povedených. Velká část je však podivuhodná a podivuhodně divná. Někdy jsem si opravdu říkal, že nemám šajn, co to vlastně čtu. Bavilo mě to ale celou dobu :) PS: Co mě naopak nebavilo, byly úvodní medailonky autorů. To bych dal někam na konec jako vysvětlení, ale mezi povídky bych to nepletl. Zvláště, když to někdy odhalovalo pointu. Asi ve čtvrtině jsem je tak začal cíleně přeskakovat...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Old sci-fi & fantasy is interesting to read in that it often has a completely different feel to it than more modern pieces. This is a collection of short stories, including one by Terry Pratchett (and the reason why I picked this up). I enjoyed it, but I've found that these types of books are best for discovering new authors, rather than amazing you with their stores. There are some gems, but some that aren't as exciting. So, read it if you'd like to explore old-school writers & potentia Old sci-fi & fantasy is interesting to read in that it often has a completely different feel to it than more modern pieces. This is a collection of short stories, including one by Terry Pratchett (and the reason why I picked this up). I enjoyed it, but I've found that these types of books are best for discovering new authors, rather than amazing you with their stores. There are some gems, but some that aren't as exciting. So, read it if you'd like to explore old-school writers & potentially dig up a 'new' favorite, but otherwise you can skip it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Max Ostrovsky

    Less funny "ha ha," and more funny "huh." Stanislaw Lem makes the entire book worth reading. Even though it's a collection and sure, you could just read the one Lem story, the comparison to everything else in the book only makes it stand out as spectacular that much more. Of course, there were other truly great stories, but the Lem story so overshadows everything else, it deserves mention. The Clarke story is also very impressive. Sherlock Holmes in space did want me to smack my head, but it was Less funny "ha ha," and more funny "huh." Stanislaw Lem makes the entire book worth reading. Even though it's a collection and sure, you could just read the one Lem story, the comparison to everything else in the book only makes it stand out as spectacular that much more. Of course, there were other truly great stories, but the Lem story so overshadows everything else, it deserves mention. The Clarke story is also very impressive. Sherlock Holmes in space did want me to smack my head, but it was fun.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Knighton

    This is a rich and diverse collection of fantasy, science fiction and horror, all having humour in common. What makes it so bountiful is the range of writing styles, stories and three different genres (despite the book initially appearing to be fantasy only). Excellent diversity and a good pointer to many other authors. I really enjoyed this compilation. Hope you do too :)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kitten

    The Flying Sorcerers is a collection of short stories from different authors with unique writing styles; as such, a reader is likely to enjoy some of the stories more than others. The stories are not all funny or, at least, not all funny in the same way.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Matheson

    What I like about this book was how it introduced me to authors and sun-genres of SF I had not encountered. I agree with other reviews that there were few laugh-out-loud moments, but each was humourous in its own way. A good read and worth the time if you want a summary of SF history.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    A collection of fantasy short stories, good bad and indifferent.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    lekkie i przyjemne historyjki!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lera

    OK. Got from a bookswap, not a keeper.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I found the quality of these stories varied a bit, although there were some I quite enjoyed and some of the ideas were pretty interesting. I thought the final story was a good way to end the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom Britz

    These stories, some of which have nothing to do with Sorcerers or Flying, are not stories that stick with you. This is not one of the better anthologies out there.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Melbie

    Lots of cool, funny stories in this book. I loved it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Burridge

    Excellent.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I really wanted to like this book because it's a compilation of short fantasy stories from some of my favorite authors, like Terry Pratchett and Roald Dahl, but it wasn't to be. Some of the stories were good, some were just weird, and some were sketchy, and eventually enough were sketchy enough (plus the book was due) that I returned it to the library. I was able to get about 3/4 of the way through it though. Side note: Something I thought was weird was the editors's note that said that they chos I really wanted to like this book because it's a compilation of short fantasy stories from some of my favorite authors, like Terry Pratchett and Roald Dahl, but it wasn't to be. Some of the stories were good, some were just weird, and some were sketchy, and eventually enough were sketchy enough (plus the book was due) that I returned it to the library. I was able to get about 3/4 of the way through it though. Side note: Something I thought was weird was the editors's note that said that they chose the title "Flying sorcerers" because most of the stories had something to do with flying, I didn't notice that. I was keeping an eye out for it even and from what I could tell hardly any of them had something to do with flying, but that's besides the point. Each story was prefaced with a bio of the author and that was fun to read and find out more about who had written the story, what his (most them were male) writing influences were and what some of his more popular works were. Bottom line, if you do decide to read this book, I would suggest being very choosy about which stories you read. Or just choose not to read it as there are a lot of other books out there that are more worth the time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Iri

    Tuto knížku jsem si koupila za 1 euro na Slovensku, protože mě při přečtení obsahu praštila do očí jména Terryho Pratchetta, Michaela Moorcocka a Arthura C. Clarka. Začala jsem tedy číst. A musím konstatovat, že: Některé příběhy byly skvělé a velice jsem se u nich bavila, jiné mě moc nenadchly, si už nepamatuji, je to kniha plná prací skvělých autorů (no kdo by to byl čekal?). Zvláště jedné povídce jsem nemohla odolat a díky příhodnému úkolu do školy jsem vytvořila pět ilustrací (povedly se asi jen Tuto knížku jsem si koupila za 1 euro na Slovensku, protože mě při přečtení obsahu praštila do očí jména Terryho Pratchetta, Michaela Moorcocka a Arthura C. Clarka. Začala jsem tedy číst. A musím konstatovat, že: Některé příběhy byly skvělé a velice jsem se u nich bavila, jiné mě moc nenadchly, si už nepamatuji, je to kniha plná prací skvělých autorů (no kdo by to byl čekal?). Zvláště jedné povídce jsem nemohla odolat a díky příhodnému úkolu do školy jsem vytvořila pět ilustrací (povedly se asi jen 2). Byla to povídka Mervyna Peaka Tanec smrti. Motiv byl sice poměrně klasický, ale povídku si pamatuju téměř nejlépe z celé knihy. A taky mě dorazil Terry Pratchett. Jak jinak. Je prostě úžasný.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robert Priddle

    Collection of short stories. I would have to give it another go.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paul Costello

    not really what i hoped for

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shanti Hofshi

    A collection of short SF stories, but not really the best works I've seen by the included authors, or at least the ones I'm familiar with.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Howard

    13

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Barclay

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karene

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ciorstaidh

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ben Mccarthy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mark Brouwer

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