Sunday, July 9, 2017

Middle Unearthed: The Best Fantasy Short Stories 1800-1849 a Classic Fantasy Anthology Edited by Andrew Barger



Two hundred years before Game of Thrones became a hit series of novels and popular HBO TV episodes, the fantasy genre was launched by short story authors. I have searched old magazines and forgotten journals to find the 10 best fantasy stories that launched a genre. I then annotated them and provided a list at the back of the collection of all the stories considered for the anthology. I further included background introductions to each story and author photos, where available.

Middle Unearthed, an Introduction by Andrew Barger

1836 "The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton" by Charles Dickens is thought by many to be a precursor to A Christmas Carol given the subject matter and goblins that a certain grouchy sexton meets on Christmas Eve.

1839 "The Kelpie Rock" by Joseph Holt Ingraham draws on the prior writings of Washington Irving in the Hudson River Valley while giving the world one of the best fantasy stories by an American during this important period in the genre.

1831 "Transformation" by Mary Shelley is the best fantasy short story by the famous author of Frankenstein.

1819 "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving gives a look into the American Revolution by one of America's most famous authors and is also the oldest story in the collection.

1824 "Lilian of the Vale" by George Darley is a haunting fantasy short story that is the cornerstone of all modern fairy stories.

1835 "The Doom of Soulis" by John MacKay Wilson recounts a haunting legend of a wizard that will not soon be forgotten.

1827 "The Dwarf Nose" by Wilhelm Hauff provides one of the best dwarf short stories ever written by one of Germany's most talented authors who died way before his time.

1829 "Seddik Ben Saad the Magician" by D.C. is a mystical story that conjures thoughts of Arabia, astrology, and the black arts.

1845 "The Witch Caprusche" by Elizabeth F. Ellet tells a haunting fantasy story of a witch and the thirst for power that leads to a bitter end.

1837 "The Pale Lady" by George Soane recounts a peculiar visitor who comes to stay at a castle that came only stem from the mind of one of the most underrated English fantasy authors of the nineteenth century.

Before there was a lovable green ogre called Shrek and a bespeckled wizard named Harry Potter, there were the best fantasy short stories published in English during the first half of the nineteenth century. Read today. http://www.andrewbarger.com/bestfantasyshortstories1800.html

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They are included in my new classic anthology, Middle Unearthed: The Best Fantasy Short Stories 1800-1849. Before there were lovable ogres named Shrek and a quizzical boy wizard named Harry Potter, there were these groundbreaking fantasy stories that laid the foundation of so many great works to come. This annotated collection is on sale now at $12.99 for the book and $3.99 for the ebook. Read these stories from the Middle Earth of fantasy writing today.

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