Tad Williams was one of those authors that I found myself addicted to years ago. When I first discovered his books, I was one of those serial readers, who eagerly awaited the next novel’s appearance (as thought my life depended on it). I was waiting on the lives, characters… the adventures!
As (I think) sometimes happens, college and grad school got in the way, and that bookish intensity faded a bit. I’ve discovered short stories in various anthologies and I waxed nostalgic for the times when I couldn’t get enough of those book. I’ve never forgotten… So, when I saw The Very Best of Tad Williams in the NetGalley listing, I couldn’t quite believe my good fortune. I was immediately delving into the tales, and remembering those bits of storytelling that drew me into his novels years ago.
Where do stories come from?
Here, you’ll find a dragon and his partner knight, a storytelling vampire, angels, robot butler, a fish, and wizard. It’s all an eclectic mix of 11 short stories that offers something for nearly any reader (young and old), but also delves into the depths of humanity. We discover the stories in our wildest imagination, and in the everyday. As Williams explains: “Stories are all around, infinite in their number. They’re in every word, every experience, every object.”
So, if stories are everywhere — in rocks, pigeons, flyers, or a wisp of smoke — there’s nothing more to do than simply grab ahold of those fragments and let the ordinariness become something more. The dream becomes a shared vision, a what-if, a might-have-been, or perhaps even a reality that we dared not hope for. And, here, we glimpse. We share. Then, we’re left to imagine all the other tidbit stories that are still lying on the ground, in the air, or somewhere beneath the skin.