Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Originally published in April 2005, on my original 52 Books blog.
I just finished reading this collection of short stories and poetry by Neil Gaiman. Previously, I had read Stardust, Neverwhere, American Gods, Good Omens (collaboration with Terry Pratchett) and the Sandman comics and enjoyed all of them, as well as his illustrated children’s books, Coraline and The Wolves in the Walls.
(I don't have the book with me, so there may be some errors in the story titles below.)
The stories and poems in this collection are mostly fantasy, and in fact there are stories for lovers of just about any subgenre of fantasy. You will find humorous stories (Chivalry, Bay Wolf, Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar), dark stories (Only the end of the world again, The White Road), supernatural stories (The wedding present, The daughter of owls, Black cat), weird stories (Eaten alive, The facts in the disappearance of Miss Finch), folkloric stories (Troll bridge, The white road, Snow, glass, apples), detective stories (Murder mysteries, Bay Wolf), horror stories (Snow, glass, apples, Eaten alive), vampire stories, werewolf stories. Gaiman plays with themes familiar from his novels and graphic novels: myths, legends and folktales, literature (Beowulf, HP Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde), popular culture, sex, blood, and death.
The stories and poems vary, but the overall quality is quite good. 3+ stars.