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Best New Paranormal Romance    edited by Paula Guran order for
Best New Paranormal Romance
by Paula Guran
Order:  USA  Can
Juno, 2006 (2006)
Paperback, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Paula Guran is past editor of the Dark Echo newsletter, one of the best horror references available: she kept her finger firmly and intelligently on the pulse of dark fantasy and horror and supplied knowledgeable commentary and insight into the genre. Guran is currently an editor for Juno books. In Best New Paranormal Romance, she has put together a stellar collection of twelve romantic tales with supernatural, fantasy or science fiction overtones. In her introduction, she asks, 'What is paranormal romance?' and gives readers considerable background on the evolution of the term as well as her own insights as to what paranormal romance encompasses, current reader and industry expectations and how the genre continues to grow and evolve into new sub-genres.

The anthology showcases well-known authors as well as other writers you may not have heard of before opening this volume. Here are a few highlights: Catherine Asaro writes a rich and poignant tale in The Shadowed Heart, about a stranded fighter pilot struggling to find his lost soul after his elite squad of empaths is shot down in battle. Delia Sherman presents a witty and entertaining tale in Walpurgis Afternoon, about witches, their traveling Victorian house and the reaction of their new neighbors when said house and occupants and their wild garden pop up overnight. Keeping with the odd house theme, Heather Shaw's Single White Farmhouse shows what happens when a sentient farmhouse is wired to the Internet and finds online love. Elizabeth Hand's Calypso in Berlin is a moody and beautifully written piece about an immortal nymph's obsession with her current lover and the lengths she goes to, to keep him with her always. And A Treatise in Fewmets by Sarah Prineas is another gem that puts a whimsical and imaginative twist on first love. Other contributors include Elizabeth Bear, Claudia O'Keefe, Jane Yolen, Rebecca York, Deborah Coates, Sandra McDonald and John Grant.

Whether you're interested in the literary aspect of paranormal romances or simply want to enjoy some great short story writing, Best New Paranormal Romance is worthy of your time - and hopefully a precursor to more such outstanding paranormal romance collections.

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