Martin H. Greenberg &
Brittiany A. Koren, editors,
Pharaoh Fantastic
(DAW, 2002)

Pharaoh Fantastic is an original anthology by many masters of speculative fiction. All of these stories are brand new, original to this anthology, and concentrate on well-known gods and pharaohs of history. Yet it also looks at less-seen areas of the ancient world, following brilliant heroines, animals and even spirits through their lives in Egypt. Some stories take place in the present, or even the future. And all of them have a speculative quality.

Tanya Huff's story, "Succession," tells of a wise old queen and her battle to protect the kingdom. Jody Lynn Nye's story shows how a pharaoh becomes a god, even when unprepared. "Beneath the Eye of the Hawk" spans nationalities in a perilous treasure hunt.

In Laura Resnick's "The Spin Wizard," the ineffectual Pharaoh Ramses must find a fall guy to blame his mistakes on. His new spin wizard, Miriam, finds a familiar face to turn Ramses' failing career around. "Let Our People Go" by famed author Mickey Zucker Reichert also spins the story of Moses and the Exodus, this time incorporating futuristic time travelers.

A beautiful princess must save her future husband from Set's malicious curse in "That God Won't Hunt." Fiona Patton's "Games of Fate" is an intriguing, masterful tale as a young man seeking power may instead find the redemption the world has denied him. Bill McKay's story features an unusual cat heroine in a fun adventure.

This anthology is unique and creative in theme, embracing the mystery of the pharaohs, explaining myth through magic. The research into Egyptian history varies from common facts to deliciously obscure ones. These 13 stories portray the skill of their expert crafters, creating an unusual new volume of speculative fiction.

- Rambles
written by Valerie Frankel
published 15 March 2003

Buy it from