Haven't done a short story round up in a while...mostly 'cause I lost my most recent read in a huge pile of randomness, but fear not it has been found. The book is Creature Fantastic edited by Denise Little and is a collection of stories about so called mythic beasts. This book covers all kinds of creatures in all kinds of situations. Here are my favorites in this book.
Yes, Virginia, There is a Unicorn by Von Jocks - This story is funny, sweet, and kind of like a Lisa Frank picture in book form. It has the perfect mix of humor, sweetness and just a touch of a bad guy. The setting of a fantasy shop in an urban mall sets the almost absurd, yet great tone of this perfect unicorn story.
The Last Flight by Michelle West - In complete contrast to the above story, this one is very bittersweet and makes one think of the cons of immortality. We hear a lot about ancient beasts, and in the case of a Phoenix there wisdom. In this story, the Phoenix, who can shape shift into a man, decides enough is enough and the resulting story is well written, a bit sad, and a bit hopeful all at once.
The Team Room Beasts by P.N. Elrod - This is a tale of revenge...and tea. A women is being horribly and unfairly harassed by her ex until a fortuitous meeting at her tea house gives her the ability to summon minions from the beyond to harass him into compliance. This story is a weird mix of comedy and bit of the horrific, but in the end you feel justice has been served an then have a craving for a scone.
The Dragon in the Maiden by Pamela Luzier - Here we have a story to turn the tropes on their heads. We have a dragon that is not into eating maidens, a "knight" who is looking to marry his way into fortune, and a kingdom that essentially runs on a popularity contest. This story was good to remind us to always get to know a person (creature) before taking what others say as the truth.
What is your favorite mythic creature? Do you ever feel guilty about spending so little on bargain books when they turn out so good? Why am I stuck on the 7 rating lately?