I finished a gigantic book of short stories called Rogues, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois. It was over 800 pages but worth the time! Does anyone else find they read short stories more slowly than a regular novel?
The George RR Martin story, "The Rogue Prince, or, A King's Brother" was ok. It was less a story and more a history of events in Westeros during the reign of Viserys the First. Honestly, when things started to get really interesting the story ended! I went online to A Wiki of Ice and Fire to determine how far before the novels all this happens and the events that follow the story.
"How the Marquis Got His Coat Back" by Neil Gaiman was fabulous and the reason I requested the book from the library in the first place. In the novel Neverwhere, the best character is the Marquis de Carabas; in the course of the novel he loses his awesome coat. This little story shows, well, how he got it back. It was great to return to London Below. Sequel please?
"A Year and a Day in Old Teradane" by Scott Lynch was also amazing and made me want to read the sequel to Locke Lamora. A group of thieves, mostly female, have a year and a day to steal a city street! What they try and how it works out is a great tale.
"The Lightning Tree" by Patrick Rothfuss was also very good. I've not read his Kingkiller books but after reading this one I'm definitely going to! The writing was great and the various cons and tricks mostly fun. There were a couple of problematic scenes, for me, that involved Bast tricking women into having sex with him (not so good on the consent front) that felt a bit jarring. Overall though, I liked the story.
Though my favorites were fantasy, many of the stories were not. There were more straightforward mysteries by Gillian Flynn, Bradley Denton and Walter Jon Williams. My favorite of the non-fantasy ones was "Bent Twig" by Joe R. Lansdale. It was a really hard-boiled detective type story and I liked the characters and the resolution. I'll be looking him up.
I guess the best test for an anthology is if you liked it and if you'll be looking up the authors featured to read other things by them. This books gets a yes to both. a 6.