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Books 1-10.
Books 11-20.
Books 21-30.
31. Solitaire by Kelley Eskridge.
32. Those Who Walk Away by Patricia Highsmith.

33. The History of the Danes (Gesta Danorum) by Saxo Grammaticus, translation by Peter Fisher, edited by Peter Fisher and Hilda Ellis Davidson. I majored in Scandinavian Studies as an undergrad, but while Saxo was often referred to we never had to read him. That might have been because my concentration was on Norway and not Denmark, but the introductions here suggest another reason; it's implied in places and more or less said outright in others that Saxo was kind of a hack historian whose wrote convoluted prose and more or less made shit up. Perversely--because I have an affection for crackpots, I guess--this makes me like him a little more than I might have if I had just read the book without reading the intro first. The first nine books of the Gesta Danorum cover the pre-recorded history of the region, which is one reason that it kind of reads like hyper-patriotic pulp fiction--sort of like if some dude three hundred years from now was trying to reconstruct American World War II mythology based on a DVD of Patton and some ancient issues of Captain America. So you get giants, lots of garbled material from the sagas, and the repeated assertion that the Slavs and the Norwegians and the Saxons and basically everybody but the Danes is scum. (Also women--except for warrior women--and the low-born.) Gesta Danorum is also known as the likely source for the plot skeleton of Hamlet; the story of Amleth in Book III is obviously the same tale, though many of the details and ordering of events differ. (Fascinating to me is the fact that Amleth has many of the characteristics of Askeladden, a figure from Norwegian folklore that I've always found intriguing.) There are other tantalizing bits to the history, like the character of Starkad/Starkather, and various weird mythological echoes and connections, but there are also some really dull stretches. I wouldn't want to use this book for research, but as a sort of anthology of national heroic myths it's at least sort of fun.


David J. Schwartz
Mumble Herder

Recent and Forthcoming



US Edition

UK Edition


"The Sun Inside," part of the Electrum Novella Series from Rabit Transit Press

Short Stories:

"Escape to Bird Island" at The King's English, Winter 2008-9 Issue

"Bear In Contradicting Landscape" in Polyphony 7, Coming Soon

"MonstroCities" in Tumbarumba: A Frolic of Intrusions

"Mike's Place" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #22

"Proof of Zero" in Spicy Slipstream Stories, Out Now!!

"The Somnambulist" in Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, Out Now!!

"Oma Dortchen and the Pillar of Story" in Farrago's Wainscot, Summer 2007

"The Ichthyomancer Writes His Friend with an Account of the Yeti's Birthday Party" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Number 13, Fall 2003 (Honorable Mention, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collecion); Reprinted in The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet


""Stardust" at Strange Horizons


"On Making Noise: Confessions of a Quiet Kid" in Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer



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