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Gregory Frost

Gregory Frost fantasy author(1951- )
Gregory Frost teaches writing at Swarthmore College in PA, at Write By The Lake in Madison, WI, and at various writers’ conferences. He has participated in writing workshops with Judith Berman, Ann Tonsor Zeddies, Karen Joy Fowler, John Kessel, James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link, Jonathan Lethem, and Nalo Hopkinson. Here’s Gregory Frost’s website.


Shadowbridge — (2008) Publisher: Sprung from a timeless dream, Shadowbridge is a world of linked spans arching high above glittering seas. It is a world of parading ghosts, inscrutable gods, and dangerous magic. Most of all, it is a world of stories. No one knows those stories better than Leodora, a young shadow-puppeteer who travels Shadowbridge collecting the intertwining tales and myths of each place she passes through, then retells them in performances whose genius has begun to attract fame … and less welcome attention. For Leodora is fleeing a violent past, as are her two companions: her manager, Soter, an elderly drunkard who also served Ledora’s father, the legendary puppeteer Bardsham; and Diverus, her musical accompanist, a young man who has been blessed, and perhaps cursed, by the touch of a nameless god. Now, as the strands of a destiny she did not choose begin to tighten around her, Leodora is about to cross the most perilous bridge of all–the one leading from the past to the future.

Gregory Frost Shadowbridge, Lord TophetGregory Frost Shadowbridge, Lord Tophet
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Shadowbridge: Exquisite imagery and magic

Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost

Gregory Frost graduated from Clarion Workshop, authored five novels and the critically-acclaimed short story collection Attack of the Jazz Giants & Other Stories, and has been a finalist for nearly every major award in the fantasy field including the Hugo, the Nebula, the James Tiptree, and the World Fantasy Award.

Impressive, but what did I think of Shadowbridge? Well, for the most part I enjoyed reading Shadowbridge and while I may have liked the novel, I can’t say that I loved it.

It was the concept that really grabbed my attention. Gregory Frost’s book introduces a world that is comprised mainly of ocean and the Shadowbridge, a seemingly never-ending bridge that is divided into numerous spirals and spans, each with their own unique set of cultu... Read More

Lord Tophet: Better than its predecessor

Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost

Creatively Shadowbridge is a marvelous work of invention, embodied by the imaginative Shadowbridge setting — a world of linked spiraling spans of bridges on which all impossibilities can happen — the intriguing art of shadow play, and the many enchanting tales and fables that are interwoven into the main narrative. Yet because of issues that I had with not being able to emotionally connect with the characters, worldbuilding that I felt could have been more penetrating, uneven pacing and narrative structure, and an unsatisfying cliffhanger, my feelings for the novel were mixed. Alas, reading Lord Tophet did not make me appreciate Shadowbridge any more than I already did, but the duology’s conclusion is a far better novel than its predecessor.

Upon finishing Shadowbridge I speculated that it woul... Read More

Fitcher’s Brides: Unforgettable rendition of Bluebeard

Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost

A widower, with a little help from his cold-hearted new wife, has fallen under the spell of Elias Fitcher, an apocalyptic preacher who predicts the world will end within the year. Packing up all his earthly belongings, and his three daughters — romantic Vernelia, neurotic Amy, and practical, skeptical Kate — he and his wife move to a tiny village in upstate New York to await the end of days. There, the charming, charismatic, and utterly horrifying Fitcher takes a shine to Vernelia, and sweeps her off her feet in a whirlwind courtship.

It says on the very cover that it's a Bluebeard story, so I'm not spoiling much to say that Vernelia goes mysteriously missing, and Fitcher then marries Amy. When Amy, too, vanishes, it's up to Kate to find out what has happened and stop Fitcher's horrible spree. There's a storm brewing, of course, and the plot goes from atmospherically creepy to nail-biting as t... Read More

Magazine Monday: The Empress of Mars

The Empress of Mars is a new quarterly production of Dreadnought Press. The inaugural issue of January 2012 is a lovely glossy magazine with good art, starting with the cover image of a trio of idealized spaceships by Martin Rotherham. Alas, the fiction within rarely matches the promise of the cover. And the magazine desperately needs a copy editor, one who can fix the run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and the many instances where “it’s” was used when “its” was meant. Perhaps, as with many magazines, these are merely labor pains, and future issues will be better; heck, I’m old enough to remember the inaugural issues of Asimov’s, which were almost equally wanting.

The magazine starts on a grim note, with “Obituary,” a paragraph written by Alexandra Wolfe about the death of a 13-year-old boy killed by his own DNA when he committed yet another act of stupidity. Appare... Read More

Magazine Monday: Apex Magazine, Issues 31 through 33

Apex Magazine is a monthly e-magazine that publishes two short stories, one reprint story, a nonfiction piece and an interview in each issue, together with the occasional poem. In the three issues I read, the reprint fiction tended to outshine the original fiction -- which doesn’t mean the original fiction was bad, just that it couldn’t quite live up to the standard set by the well-chosen older stories. The interviews are thoughtful and generally go well beyond the usual topics, either to discuss the author’s work in considerable detail or to go into areas not normally explored in most interviews. The nonfiction is variable in topic but uniformly strong work. A subscription to Apex Magazine seems to be worth the $19.95 per year asking price, though the most recent issue suggests some caution.

In the December 2011 issue (No. 31), the editor-in-chief, Lynne M. Thomas, explains in her notes (a column... Read More

The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm

The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

The Faery Reel is an indispensable tome for anyone who has a mania for faeries. Aside from the short stories in this anthology, the comprehensive introduction of Terri Windling on the fey and the illustrations by Charles Vess are worth the price of admission in themselves. Moreover, the last few pages feature a Further Reading section on the topic of faeries. The typography of the book is appropriate to the faery theme and makes the text quite readable. In other words, it's a really pretty book.

But The Faery Reel isn't just about exterior beauty, and I'd still buy the book if only for the story selections and the poetry. There are actually a lot of stories I liked in this anthology, and choosing a select few to talk about is quite difficult: "Catnyp" by Read More

Supernatural Noir: A Datlow anthology

Supernatural Noir edited by Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow suggests in her introduction to Supernatural Noir that noir fiction and supernatural fiction, with its roots in the gothic, have a lot in common. The main character in each tends to be a hard-living guy, usually down to his last flask of scotch, haunted by a sexy dame whose middle name is trouble. So it seemed natural to her to combine the two genres for an original anthology.

Despite my general rule that any anthology edited by Ellen Datlow is one I want to read, I resisted this one for a long time. Detectives looking for ghosts? Eh. Not my thing. But when Supernatural Noir was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, ... Read More

Futurdaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction

Futurdaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction edited by Hannah Strom-Martin and Erin Underwood

In their introduction to Futurdaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction, editors Hannah Strom-Martin and Erin Underwood offer up their motivation for the collection:
We hope to inject the short-fiction market . . . with an extra serving of undisguised wonder at the possibilities the future may hold [and] give the next generation of speculative readers and writers a taste . . . of the infinite possibilities inherent in both the science fiction genre and the short story form [and to] represent a wider range of viewpoints than is typically seen in American popular culture.
That’s a lot to aim at and more power to them for putting this collection of twenty-one stories and a dozen poems together with that goal in mind. I’d like to say they fully succeed, but as with most anthologies (at least in my experience), ... Read More

Dark Duets: A horror anthology

Dark Duets edited by Christopher Golden

Christopher Golden explains in his introduction to Dark Duets that writing is a solitary occupation right up until that moment an alchemical reaction takes place and a bolt of inspiration simultaneously strikes two writers who are friends. Golden has found that the results of collaboration are often fascinating and sometimes magical, as when Stephen King and Peter Straub teamed up to write The Talisman. Writing is an intimate, very personal process, Golden says, and finding someone to share it with is difficult but exciting. Golden therefore undertook to create a book full of such diffi... Read More

More by Gregory Frost

Crimson Spear: The Blood of Cu Chulainn — (1985-1998) Publisher: “I see you all crimson… I see you all red.” So warns the faery seer of Cruachan. It is a warning no one will heed, because only one thing stands between the army of Maeve the Intoxicator and its goal: a small young warrior named Setanta. Maeve, with all her cunning, sees no problem in dispatching him. But Setanta is no normal defender. His father is a god, who has given him a monstrous power and a magical spear. Alone against all odds and all comers, he fights as strange a war as has ever been undertaken — in the narrows of every stream the army must cross. But beware, Setanta. The faery’s warning is for you, too. Defeating the lustful Maeve may have unexpected, lethal consequences…

fantasy book reviews Gregory Frost Crimson Spear: The Blood of Cu Chulainn 1. Tain 2. Remscelafantasy book reviews Gregory Frost Crimson Spear: The Blood of Cu Chulainn 1. Tain 2. Remscela


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsLyrec — (1984) Publisher: LYREC & BORREGAD — Just a Man and a Cat… from Another Universe. Lovelorn Lyrec and wise-cracking Borregad have been companions through world after world, adventure after adventure. They seek Lyrec’s lost lady, and vengeance for the obliteration of their homeworld. But the evil Miradomon is always one step ahead, leaving a dark trail of destruction behind him. Crossing a chain of parallel universes, our heroes must take on new identities in each new world. In his latest incarnation, Lyrec has done quite well for himself. He is young, strong, handsome, skilled in the arts of war and song. Poor Borregad blew it. He’s stuck in the body of a cat. And Miradomon? This time, he’s a god.

The Pure Cold LightThe Pure Cold Light — (1993) Publisher: Guerrilla activist and rebel journalist Thomasina Lyell discovers a destructive, mind-shattering power that threatens the future of humankind and will stop at nothing to reveal it to the world.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsCrimson Spear: The Blood of Cu Chulainn — (1998) Publisher: I see you all crimson… I see you all red.”” So warns the faery seer of Cruachan. It is a warning no one will heed, because only on thing stands between the army of Maeve the Intoxicator and its goal: a small young warrior named Setanta. Maeve, with all her cunning, sees no problem in dispatching him. But Setanta is no normal defender. His father is a god, who has given him a monstrous power and a magical spear. Alone against all odds and all comers, he fights as strange a war as was ever undertaken – in the narrows of every stream the army must cross. But beware, Setanta. The faery’s warning is for you, too. Defeating the lustful Maeve may have unexpected, lethal consequences. “Crimson Spear: The Blood of CÚ Chulainn “comprises two previously published novels — “Tain” and “Remscela.” The two books derive from the Ulster Cycle of Celtic mythology, known also as the “Tá in Bó Cuailnge “(tahn bo koo al’ nyah). It is the story of a cattle raid upon Ulster Provinceperpetrated by the royal couple of Connacht, its neighbor, and defense of the province by its semi-divine hero CÚ Chulainn.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsAttack of the Jazz Giants: And Other Stories — (2005) Publisher: This collection of 14 stories from a Nebula, Hugo, Tiptree, International Horror Guild, and World Fantasy Award finalist takes the reader on a wonderful and nightmarish journey. Beginning with a midnight odyssey to a shadowland where vehicles feast on vagrants, this compilation includes stories in which Poe’s final days are revealed, factory workers are exploited by an apparition of the Virgin Mary, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart pinwheels through the corridors of time. Also included is a tale of an apocalyptic entity that hides in a Ukranian village, a contemplation on the horror that dwells in Jack the Ripper’s pocket watch, and a brand-new novella that combines an interplanetary road story with more than a dash of Flash Gordon. Behind-the-stories notes by the author are also included.