Fantasy: The Best of the Year (2006 Edition)
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The best stories of the year: here is a collection of the fantasy prose written in 2005, by some of the genre's greatest authors, and selected by Rich Horton, a contributing reviewer to many of the field's most respected magazines. In this volume you'll find stories Peter Beagle, Paul Di Filippo, Neil Gaiman, Theodora Goss, Kelly Link, Gene Wolfe and more.
they had to go back to work. 30 | THREE URBAN FOLK TALES So the woman found her true love in the city and, if the two are not divorced, then they are married still. III. As Above, So Below The city is not one city but many. Beneath the city of men and women lies the city of the rats. The mayor of this city had a daughter who was considered entrancingly beautiful. She had dark eyes, long whiskers, a glossy brown coat of fur, and a pink tail that could circle her body twice around. Her father
and their felonious elders hanging out at nameless bars, Mutt could only risk a cursory inspection of the Badgerway environs. After checking out the most relevant district, Mutt was reduced to wandering the city’s boulevards and alleys, parks and promenades, looking for any other traces of a hidden, subterranean, alternative city that plainly didn’t exist anywhere outside the fevered imagination of a handful of online losers, praying for a glimpse of an unforgotten female face graced by a small
“Does Science teach there’s only one way to do a thing?” Sprokly smiled. When Sylvine’s mouth opened and nothing came out she giggled. A giddy thrill pulsed through her. She had done it. Just like Billy, she had shared a secret with an outsider. Sylvine rose abruptly, nearly toppling Sprokly off the bed. Whirling, she grabbed Sprokly up in a great hug. “Your secrets are safe with me.” 144 | THE SECRET OF BROKEN TICKERS “We’re uh, friends now?” Sprokly asked. “Absolutely.” “We better get to
sharp sounds that came soon after, while my mother stroked my hair and told me that our Father loved us more than anything and had taken every step to see we lived in safety, and would do whatever he must to make sure no one ever threatened that, or us. We were his sweet, sweet angels. That night I dreamt I was an angel, flying in the clear night air, and around my neck I wore a tinkling silver bell, and around my ankles leather cuffs with silver rings that bore my name. And in the morning, the
wanted to. She was saying, “There’s no stone I can see. Maybe a thorn?” The other rider, the one on the brown horse, answered her, “Or a bruise. Let me see.” That voice was lighter and younger-sounding than the woman’s voice, but I already knew he was a man, because he was so tall. He got down off the brown horse and the woman moved aside to let him pick 192 | TWO HEARTS up her horse’s foot. Before he did that, he put his hands on the horse’s head, one on each side, and he said something to