The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 4

The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 4 is an anthology of fantasy stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by DAW Books in 1978.[1]

The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 4
Cover art from the first edition
AuthorLin Carter (editor)
Cover artistEsteban Maroto
CountryUnited States
SeriesThe Year's Best Fantasy Stories
PublisherDAW Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (paperback)
Pages208 pp
Preceded byThe Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 3 
Followed byThe Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 5 

Summary edit

The book collects eleven novelettes and short stories by various fantasy authors, originally published in the years 1977 and 1978 that were deemed by the editor the best from the period represented, together with an introductory survey of the year in fantasy, an essay on the year's best fantasy books, and introductory notes to the individual stories by the editor. The pieces include a pseudonymous work (the story by "Grail Undwin", actually by Carter) and "posthumous collaborations" (the story by Howard and Offutt and the story by Smith, which was completed by Carter).

Carter's survey of the year is notable for a blistering review of Terry Brooks's The Sword of Shannara, described as "the single most cold-blooded, complete rip-off of another book that I have ever read," the other book in question being J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Per Carter, "Brooks wasn't trying to imitate Tolkien's prose, just steal his story line and complete cast of characters, and did it with such clumsiness and so heavy-handedly, that he virtually rubbed your nose in it."

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