Manifesto UF by Various Authors – Anthology Review [Bane of Kings]

Manifesto UF

Milo, aka “Bane of Kings” reviews the multi-authored Manifesto UF, containing stories from the likes of  Zachary Jernigan, Teresa Frohock and Jeff Saylards, as well as fellow Founding Fields member Abhinav Jain (Shadowhawk), edited by Tim Marquitz and Tyson Mauermann telling a themed collection of urban fantasy stories – Manifesto UF is an anthology that’s recommended reading.

“An excellent collection that gives a great exploration of  how varied Urban Fantasy can be, bringing some great stories to the pipeline with some stellar contributions across all areas. Certainly worth checking out, particularly if you’re a fan of the subgenre.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

Rev – Kirk Dougal | I’m an Animal. You’re an Animal, Too – Zachary Jernigan | Los Lagos Heat – Karina Fabian | Savage Rise – Adam Millard | Front Lines, Big City – Timothy Baker | Break Free – Ryan Lawler | Naked the Night Sings – Teresa Frohock | Double Date – Andrew Moczulski | That Old Tree – R.L. Treadway | Dharmasankat – Abhinav Jain | Nephilim – TSP Sweeney | Toejam & Shrapnel – Nickolas Sharps | Green Grow the Rashes – William Meikle | Under the Dragon Moon – Jonathan Pine | Gold Dust Woman – Kenny Soward | Wizard’s Run – Joshua S. Hill |Chains of Gray – Betsy Dornbusch | Bloody Red Sun of Fantastic LA – Jake Elliot | Queen’s Blood – Lincoln Crisler | Beneath a Scalding Moon – Jeff Salyards | Separation Anxiety – J.M. Martin | Blessing and Damnation – Wilson Geiger | Jesse Shimmer Goes to Hell – Lucy A. Snyder

From angels to vampires, dragons to wizards, Manifesto brings together twenty-three stories full of action, snark, and unadulterated badassery.

Featuring stories from Lucy A. Snyder, Jeff Salyards, William Meikle, Teresa Frohock, Zachary Jernigan, Betsy Dornbusch, and more.

The time has come to make a statement, to define a genre. This is our manifesto.

Well, Manifesto UF. If you’re a fan of urban fantasy stories, then this collection will be right up your street. With plenty of established authors up there contributing to the anthology such as Zachary Jernigan, whose novel No Return I have read and enjoyed and Teresea Frohock, the writer behind Miserere, whose work I have sadly not got around to reading yet, and even Jeff Salyards – another established author whose work I need to read at some point. Another thing to note here is that the anthology also features the first published short story of fellow Founding Fields review Abhinav, (Shadowhawk), with one of the more unique and interestingly themed-short stories of the collection – entitled Dharmasankat, you can’t really afford to miss this. Normally when I read anthologies I tend to find at least one or two that I don’t like, and whilst they may not have been the most memorable of short stories ever – Manifesto UF proved to be a first for me, in which I enjoyed everything that the anthology had to offer.

Manifesto UFAs I haven’t read that many anthologies lately aside from  American Vampire Anthology #1 from Vertigo Comics, this means that I haven’t really had the chance to adjust to the short story format for a while, having read a lot of full novels recently, the closest prose-wise I’ve come to a short story being the serialised reviews of Scars by Chris Wraight each week (look out for a review of Part 7 on Saturday), so as expected it was a refreshing change for me. I don’t know about you but I also don’t normally tend to read anthologies all at once – often I tend to break up the stories so the change in narrative and setting doesn’t really bother me that much. However, most of the short stories tend to flow pretty smoothly together, allowing for a very interesting collection of themed stories that urban fantasy fans shouldn’t pass up on.

Opening with a story simply titled Rev, by Kirk Dougal, the first line “I remember the first time I died”, allows for a very interesting opening hook and I was suckered in from the start. It’s a powerful opener that sets the tone to the stories to come, and delivers a very strong read. Strong highlights as expected include Zachary Jernigan’s I’m an Animal, You’re an Animal Too and Teresa Frohock’s Naked the Night Sings, and whilst the temptation to jump to these stories by familiar authors might be there, it’s better to read the entire collection in the way it was intended as there are really some hidden gems inside, such as Nickolas Sharps’ Toejam & Shrapnel, which is another strong instalment. I also really enjoyed Abhinav’s entry as well – as with an different setting to a vast majority of the other entries, Dharmasankat proved to be a lot of fun to read. Something else that was a standout was Savage Rise from Adam Millard, bringing a slightly darker take on the urban fantasy setting that proves to be a lot of fun.

Tim Marquitz is the editor behind this one, who also brought Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous last year. Judging by the high quality standards provided in this short story, I’ll certainly be sticking around for anything else that Marquitz puts out next year, if he continues to follow the trend of releasing an anthology with multiple authors inside for 2014. This time he’s also had the help of Tyson Mauermann, and with them – come 23 short stories that are really worth your time.

Recommended if you’re an urban fantasy fan looking for a varied take on what the genre has to offer. Certainly one of the most solid collections of anthologies that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and really worth your time.

VERDICT: 4/5

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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