The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 4

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The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 4
YearsBestFantasyStories4.jpg
Cover art from the first edition
Author Lin Carter (editor)
Cover artist Esteban Maroto
Country United States
Language English
Series The Year's Best Fantasy Stories
Genre Fantasy short stories
Publisher DAW Books
Publication date
1978
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 208 pp
ISBN 0-87997-425-7
Preceded by The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 3
Followed by The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 5

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

The book collects eleven novelettes and short stories by various fantasy authors, originally published during the year 1977 and 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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