Book Review – (Kinda) The Very Best of Tad Williams by Tad Williams

My review (aid to reader) of The Very Best of Tad Williams by Tad Williams

The very best of Tad Williams is a collection of 17 different stories that will appeal to old and new fans alike.  Whether you like Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Crime or Horror there is a story here for you. Williams has delivered another well-conceived and written book, that if nothing else is a great introduction to his works for new fans.

It would be a little hard for me (what can I say it was 17 stories!) to write a review for each of the stories, so thought it would be more beneficial to give a quick breakdown, genre and tagline for each of the stores.  In my process of selecting this book to read I found it hard to pin down information regarding the individual genres or any plot synopsis for the individual stories.

Really, I was not sure this could be classed as a review but more an aid to the reader. The genres are what I believe the stories are written in, so they could be subjective.

  • The Old Scale Game (Fantasy)
    Think the ‘Long Con’ but with a Dragon.  Great opening line, “Flee or be broiled to crackling”.
  • The Storm Door (Sci-Fi/Horror)
    Paranormal investigation tale set during a big storm.
  • The Stranger’s Hands (Fantasy)
    Small town beings have there wish granted by an imbecilic Wizard.
  • Child of an Ancient City (Horror)
    Vampire tale told around a group of traveling merchant campfire.
  • The Boy Detective of Oz: An Otherland Story (Sci-Fi)
    Murder mystery at heart set within Otherland’s Oz.
  • Three Duets for Virgin and Nosehorn (Fantasy)
    Fanatically written and best described as three stories regarding religious perspectives.
  • Not with a Whimper, Either (Sci-Fi)
    AI theme story based in an online chat room.
  • Some Thoughts Re: Dark Destroyer (Fiction)
    Humorous email critique of the character’s manuscript by a group of peers.
  • Z is for… (Sci-Fi)
    Some hangovers just never end, and sometimes you should just stay drunk.
  • Monsieur Vergalant’s Canard (Fantasy)
    Humorous tale of Two Men and their robot Duck.
  • The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of (Crime)
    A little bit of Noir, but with Stage Magicians.
  • Fish Between Friends (Fantasy)
    Magical Fish tale, involves a man with on ears – A walk on the weird side.
  • Every Fuzzy Beast of the Earth, Every Pink Fowl of the Air (Fantasy)
    Humorous tale about when God’s little girls built the world.
  • A Stark and Wormy Knight (Fantasy)
    A humorous story about what a Dragon wants for his bedtime.
  • Omnitron, What Ho! (Fantasy/Sci-Fi)
    One man and his robot must stop a wedding at all costs.
  • Black Sunshine (Horror)
    Written like a movie script. Main premise is drugs are bad!
  • And Ministers of Grace (Fantasy)
    Religious Assassination of a Prime Minister by the self styled Hand of God.

My favourites:

Every Fuzzy Beast of the Earth, Every Pink Fowl of the Air – this is what happens when you take your eyes of kids just for a second.
A Stark and Wormy Knight – who doesn’t love a bedtime story.

The work regardless of the story is typical Williams, well constructed and thought-out, at times a little preachy for my taste but otherwise any reader would be very happy to pick up this work up.


For even more reviews, author interviews and biographies, check out the site Fantasy Book Review.


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