I just finished the Rogues anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. I first heard of Rogues in the afterword of Patrick Rothfuss’s book The Slow Regard for Silent Things, in which Rothfuss mentions writing a short story for this anthology called “The Lightning Tree.” Being eager to read anything written by Patrick Rothfuss, I just had to find it… Especially since the short story is about Bast. (If you haven’t read The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear yet, you should make it a priority. They’re so unbelievably good!)
Ahem. I’ll stop fangirling over Patrick Rothfuss now… (Neil Gaiman has a short story in this collection too!) Overall, I tend to think anthologies are usually hit and miss at best. Rogues is a pretty good collection of stories about characters who are rogues or scoundrels. Naturally, I read “The Lightning Tree” first, not being able to enjoy anything else before I had read that one. Next, I moved on to Neil Gaiman’s contribution, “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back.” If you have previously read Neverwhere, you will most likely enjoy it… If not, you probably won’t know what’s going on. (I love Neverwhere, so I thought it was great.)
From there, I started at the beginning of the book and read everything in order, and was pleased with the selection. Many authors are featured here, and their stories spanned a wide range of genres, styles, and characters. There were only a few stories that I didn’t enjoy, but the vast majority were very entertaining, and the best ones made me think. I especially liked “The Inn of the Seven Blessings” by Matthew Hughes, “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane” by Scott Lynch, “The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives” by Lisa Tuttle, and “Now Showing” by Connie Willis.
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention that George R. R. Martin has a story here, too. However, I found his contribution rather dry and dull… But maybe it was intentional, since it’s presented as a record. I’m not really into A Song of Ice and Fire, and Martin (rather high-handedly, I thought) assumes the reader is already worshipping his other works and will know exactly what is going on. (I know some character names and could generally figure it out, I’m just not a fan. I got bored with ASoIaF by book four or five.) I may not be the best person to review this particular story… So if you’re a fan, you should read it and tell me what you think!
Overall, I would give Rogues 3.5/5 stars and a recommendation. It’s worth checking out.