Whether it's a tale of a wizard developing his powers or a breakneck chase through New York City in search of the Grail, the best fantasy is all about coming face to face with reality—with boundaries—and saying, 'What if?'. It's about stepping across the threshold of what-is and what-must-be into a world of maybes and why-nots. Most of all, it's a great deal of fun.
It's for today's generation of young readers that Patrick Nielsen Hayden—winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology—has selected these stories from the thousands published by contemporary fantasy writers over the past two decades. For those readers who keep asking questions but are never completely satisfied with the answers—only the journey.
Here is National Book Award winner Ursula K. Le Guin with a tale of wizardry from the world of her Earthsea books. Here is Orson Scott Card, author of Ender's Game, with the original story of Prentice Alvin in alternate, magical nineteenth-century America. Here is Newbery Medal winner Robin McKinley with a tale of an exiled princess's quest to regain her people. Here is Coraline author Neil Gaiman with a story of chivalry, with a distinctly modern twist.
Here are werewolves and princesses, battles and enchantments, and great stories from Jane Yolen, Harry Turtledove, Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, and more.
Whimsical or harrowing, irreverent or sublime, each of these stories is an adventure in imagination. Journey from the here and now to New Magics.