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Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural

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A Fantastic Anthology Combining the Love of Science Fiction with Our National Pastime. Of all the sports played across the globe, none has more curses, superstitions, or supernatural events like baseball, America’s National Pastime. While some of these can easily be explained, there are just as many that cannot. Field of Fantasies delves right into that superstition with sho A Fantastic Anthology Combining the Love of Science Fiction with Our National Pastime. Of all the sports played across the globe, none has more curses, superstitions, or supernatural events like baseball, America’s National Pastime. While some of these can easily be explained, there are just as many that cannot. Field of Fantasies delves right into that superstition with short stories written by several key authors about baseball and the supernatural. Whether it’s a frozen curveball, a robot pitcher, or fantasy outcomes (the Cubs winning the World Series!), these terrific stories are ones that fans of science fiction will enjoy while fans of baseball will find strangely believable. Included in this wonderful anthology as stories from such prolific authors as: Stephen King Jack Keroac Karen Joy Fowler Rod Serling W. P. Kinsella And many more! Never has a book combined the incredible events of baseball and science fiction like the collection in Field of Fantasies does. Whether you’re a sport or science fiction fan, these stories will not only appeal to your fandom, but your appreciation and acceptance of the unknown taking place on the baseball diamond. If you’ve ever held a bat or glove in your hand (or just watched the game on TV), you’ll be enthralled by these terrific tales that range from the sandlot to the sold out stadium.


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A Fantastic Anthology Combining the Love of Science Fiction with Our National Pastime. Of all the sports played across the globe, none has more curses, superstitions, or supernatural events like baseball, America’s National Pastime. While some of these can easily be explained, there are just as many that cannot. Field of Fantasies delves right into that superstition with sho A Fantastic Anthology Combining the Love of Science Fiction with Our National Pastime. Of all the sports played across the globe, none has more curses, superstitions, or supernatural events like baseball, America’s National Pastime. While some of these can easily be explained, there are just as many that cannot. Field of Fantasies delves right into that superstition with short stories written by several key authors about baseball and the supernatural. Whether it’s a frozen curveball, a robot pitcher, or fantasy outcomes (the Cubs winning the World Series!), these terrific stories are ones that fans of science fiction will enjoy while fans of baseball will find strangely believable. Included in this wonderful anthology as stories from such prolific authors as: Stephen King Jack Keroac Karen Joy Fowler Rod Serling W. P. Kinsella And many more! Never has a book combined the incredible events of baseball and science fiction like the collection in Field of Fantasies does. Whether you’re a sport or science fiction fan, these stories will not only appeal to your fandom, but your appreciation and acceptance of the unknown taking place on the baseball diamond. If you’ve ever held a bat or glove in your hand (or just watched the game on TV), you’ll be enthralled by these terrific tales that range from the sandlot to the sold out stadium.

30 review for Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural

  1. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    A nice collection of baseball stories, most with a fantasy or supernatural twist. A Face in the Crowd is a Stephen King story that's very disturbing and realistic and a great lead-off hitter for the book, but it's followed by a terrible anti-baseball, pro-broken home, pro-shoplifting story that I found really awfully repellant. The book is filled with inconsistent highs and lows. The Hector Quesadilla Story is a magic-realism piece that examines the old never-ending game trope, followed by an ex A nice collection of baseball stories, most with a fantasy or supernatural twist. A Face in the Crowd is a Stephen King story that's very disturbing and realistic and a great lead-off hitter for the book, but it's followed by a terrible anti-baseball, pro-broken home, pro-shoplifting story that I found really awfully repellant. The book is filled with inconsistent highs and lows. The Hector Quesadilla Story is a magic-realism piece that examines the old never-ending game trope, followed by an excellent science fiction story from Kim Stanley Robinson, Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars. A piece by Jack Kerouac follows, included I suppose simply because of the author's name. My Kingdom for Jones is an integration allegory, a Saturday Evening Post story with horses and puns. Diamond Girls by Louise Marley is an excellent baseball and science fiction story, perhaps a metaphor for the PED crisis of a few years back. How to Read a Man is a good, sad story of a woman who can "read" men in baseball from radio or television, but not in person for herself. The Hanging Curve is one of the best traditional fantasy-genre stories in the book, by Gardner Dozois. The Franchise is an "alternate" story that features Castro in the tradition of the Resnick anthologies of years back; it's too long, we didn't need extra innings. There follow two more Castro stories, more than we needed, too much politics and not enough baseball. Ray Bradbury is represented by a piece of amusing doggerel, followed by another retelling of Casey. Rod Serling's The Mighty Casey follows, a Twilight Zone classic, a great read. Harry Turtledove contributes another alternate story, followed by a short-short that's similar to the Dozois piece. There's a good minor-league story and then an excellent piece by Cecilia Tan, Pitchers and Catchers, which is really well-written but doesn't really have any fantasy twist. Baseball Memories is a great little story about baseball trivia, Lost October is a good DiMaggio fantasy, and then the editor has one of his own stories, a very good time-travel piece featuring Stephen Crane. The book ends with a slight piece from W.P. Kinsella; again, I suspect it was selected because of the author's name. He should have picked Dodger Fan by Will Stanton instead, my own favorite sf/baseball story. Nonetheless, this is a pretty good read for baseball fans, something to pick-up during rain delays or off days; read the King and Marley and Dozois and Tan and Serling stories for sure, and then feel free to skip around.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joe Karpierz

    Alright, I have a confession to make: I love baseball. I grew up playing it, although not very well. I watched it daily on television, bought baseball cards, read baseball books (I know, weird, something other than sf), and went to Wrigley Field several times a year with my parents to see the Chicago Cubs play (longtime readers may remember that I reviewed Joe Dimaggio's biography back in 2005 - yeah, I had to go look it up - so they may not be surprised by any of these revelations). And even bac Alright, I have a confession to make: I love baseball. I grew up playing it, although not very well. I watched it daily on television, bought baseball cards, read baseball books (I know, weird, something other than sf), and went to Wrigley Field several times a year with my parents to see the Chicago Cubs play (longtime readers may remember that I reviewed Joe Dimaggio's biography back in 2005 - yeah, I had to go look it up - so they may not be surprised by any of these revelations). And even back then I had a love of science fiction, starting with things like Star Trek, Lost In Space, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. What could be better than a book of stories that combined my love of baseball with my love of science fiction? And lo and behold, there came a book, edited by Rick Wilber, called Field of Fantasies, a collection of baseball short stories that have just a bit of a twist to them, just a bit of an off-kilter angle, just a bit of supernatural. You can imagine I jumped on this one. Field of Fantasies collects baseball stories as old as 1944 and as recent as 2012, from authors that are known to fans of speculative fiction such as Stephen King, Harry Turtledove, Rod Serling, Gardner Dozois, Ray Bradbury, John Kessel, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Rick Wilber himself to more mainstream folks like Jack Kerouac, Louise Marley, Robert Coover, and others. While not all the stories here deal with the "Strange and Supernatural" (part of the subtitle to the book), every last one of these is a gem. With that being the case, where do I begin? For pure amusement, Gardner Dozois' "The Hanging Curve" tops the list, about a curveball that literally hung there, in front of the plate - for years. Following on the heels of that tale is "McDuff on the Mound", by Robert Coover, wherein we see the story of Casey at the Bat from the viewpoint of the pitcher in that poem. For pure baseball entertainment, "Pitchers and Catchers", by Cecilia Tan, gives us the story a catcher trying to make the Red Sox in Spring Training and how, just for one Spring, a catcher brings both pitchers and catchers together in a competition for the ages, only to fall victim to reality at the end of it all. Kim Stanley Robinson's "Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars" brings hope to every kid who wants to be good at the game and finally finds a way to do just that. There are a slew of thought provoking stories in here too. Louise Marley's "Diamond Girls" tells the story about a genetically engineered woman in the major leagues that tells us quite a bit about how players who are not like the others can be treated by fellow players, fans, and the press. "A Face in the Crowd", by Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan, tells the poignant tale of a man who is devoting his life to watching baseball after his wife passes away, and what he ends up learning by giving in to his passion for the game. Valerie Sayers' "How to Read a Man" tells us about a lifelong baseball fan who can tell what a player will do on a particular at bat just by watching him, but can't quite figure out how to deal with the men in her life. "My Kingdom for Jones", while on the surface a comedy about a horse that can play third base, actually gives us insight as to how we treat outsiders in our lives. David Sandner and Jacob Weisman give us "Lost October", about an old man and his young friend who have baseball in common, and how, in the face of what we presume is the earthquake that interrupted the Bay Series in 1989 (San Francisco vs. Oakland), they come together in true love for the past of the game in an ethereal ballpark that seems to be host to a game from the distant past. Rick Wilber gives us "Stephen to Cora to Joe", a take on Tinkers to Evers to Chance, about a player trying to make it in the game and the realities of it all, with the help of some literary figures from the past. Oh, there are other stories here that are worth mentioning as well. Every last one of them is terrific. Even if you're not a baseball fan, I think you'll find these stories engaging and delightful. After all, you need something to do between now and Spring Training, less than three months away.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This is a collection of short stories, many by well-known authors who marry baseball and fantasy. Some are quite good, Stephen King’s, Jack Kerouak’s, Rod Serling’s, for instance, but others are decidedly not so much. The range of quality seems great to me, the most grievous error in the entirely-too-long story about an extra innings game. This being fantasy, some names show up in unusual places, Fidel Castro in more than one story, George Herman Ruth in another, Desi Arnaz makes a cameo, maybe This is a collection of short stories, many by well-known authors who marry baseball and fantasy. Some are quite good, Stephen King’s, Jack Kerouak’s, Rod Serling’s, for instance, but others are decidedly not so much. The range of quality seems great to me, the most grievous error in the entirely-too-long story about an extra innings game. This being fantasy, some names show up in unusual places, Fidel Castro in more than one story, George Herman Ruth in another, Desi Arnaz makes a cameo, maybe Stephen Crane. There are also oddities, women on the mound, genetically altered and robotic players, and more. The baseball largely happens in imaginary major leagues, with sometimes funny baseball nicknames providing smiles. Teams at many levels and in different eras are portrayed. There is the pleasure of Ray Gonzalez, who clearly understands the “short” in short stories well. I enjoyed Cecilia Tan’s story , which seemed to well capture the cadence of baseball, and thought the editor definitely got it right by ending with a W.P. Kinsella, whose stories I adore and whose The Essential W. P. Kinsella I would recommend before this one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stella

    Impressively, there wasn't a single story in this anthology that I skipped because it was so bad. "Diamond Girls" stayed my favorite, but I also really liked "My Last Season with the Owls," "The Hanging Curve," "Lost October," and "Stephen to Cora to Joe." There were a couple others that were quite good as well, but I won't critique each story individually. Occasionally, I had to wonder why a particular story was HERE, since it would have NO elements of "strange" OR "supernatural," and just be a Impressively, there wasn't a single story in this anthology that I skipped because it was so bad. "Diamond Girls" stayed my favorite, but I also really liked "My Last Season with the Owls," "The Hanging Curve," "Lost October," and "Stephen to Cora to Joe." There were a couple others that were quite good as well, but I won't critique each story individually. Occasionally, I had to wonder why a particular story was HERE, since it would have NO elements of "strange" OR "supernatural," and just be a baseball story - but that's alright. Overall, an excellent read - now I'm super ready for baseball season.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Sinner

    Briefly: A high floor collection Among short story collections, Field of Fantasies stands out not for its great heights, but because it is solid through-and-through, without a clunker in the bunch. Every story is readable, a page-turner with layers of meaning worth your time. It admittedly plays a bit fast-and-loose with what counts as a fantastical story; despite their high quality, some of the tales seem out of place in this collection, if only because they’re downright down to earth. (I’m look Briefly: A high floor collection Among short story collections, Field of Fantasies stands out not for its great heights, but because it is solid through-and-through, without a clunker in the bunch. Every story is readable, a page-turner with layers of meaning worth your time. It admittedly plays a bit fast-and-loose with what counts as a fantastical story; despite their high quality, some of the tales seem out of place in this collection, if only because they’re downright down to earth. (I’m looking at you, “The Further Adventures of the Invisible Man.”) The collection has perhaps its strongest run in two concentrated bursts focused on unified themes: The three alternate histories with a ballplaying Fidel Castro, followed by the three iterations on “Casey at the Bat.” The close juxtaposition actually strengthens each one and makes we wonder what could be done with a collection focused on either theme. My personal favorites from the book are the stories that take a more absurdist turn—Robert Coover’s “McDuff on the Mound” (one of the aforementioned “Casey at the Bat” send-ups), as well as W.P. Kinsella’s “How I Got My Nickname” and Wilbur Schramm’s “My Kingdom for Jones.” The collection is also quite strong when it sets aside farce in favor of more weighty contributions as well: Louise Marley’s “Diamond Girls” is quite powerful, as is Cecilia Tan’s “Pitchers and Catchers,” and Valerie Sayers’ “How to Read a Man” is also worth mention. Overall, it’s the kind of collection where you can pick a random page, read the associated story, and leave satisfied.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Don Osterhaus

    Like any thematic anthology, this collection is a mixed bag. In this case the scale tips in favor of enjoyable reading. The really good stuff is really good. The good stuff is pretty respectable. The collection wraps up with a strong literary finish: "Stephan to Cora to Joe" by Rick Wilber and "How I Got My Nickname" by W.P. Kinsella. "Nickname" may be my favorite baseball story of all time. Like any thematic anthology, this collection is a mixed bag. In this case the scale tips in favor of enjoyable reading. The really good stuff is really good. The good stuff is pretty respectable. The collection wraps up with a strong literary finish: "Stephan to Cora to Joe" by Rick Wilber and "How I Got My Nickname" by W.P. Kinsella. "Nickname" may be my favorite baseball story of all time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fran Sullivan

    A wonderful compilation of interesting counterfactual award winning short stories. Includes heroes of the past coming back to life, and political figures having chosen a life in baseball rather than politics (i.e. Geo H W Bush; Fidel Castro). Reading this stirred appreciation for well written short stories.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Did not expect to enjoy this book so much! Heard that it featured a King story so I had to read it (even though I'd read the story previously) but I really had a blast reading the other short stories in the book as well. From someone who is not much of a baseball fan, the whole concept I thought was such a neat idea and I would highly recommend. Did not expect to enjoy this book so much! Heard that it featured a King story so I had to read it (even though I'd read the story previously) but I really had a blast reading the other short stories in the book as well. From someone who is not much of a baseball fan, the whole concept I thought was such a neat idea and I would highly recommend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robert Rich

    A fun collection of short stories and two poems that deal with baseball. Some are science fiction, some are alternate history, some are pure fantasy. Like any anthology, some of the stories work and others don’t. Overall, it’s a good read for a baseball fan.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Seth Kaplan

    A fun collection of short stories about baseball and the supernatural. Many were excellent, including works by Stephen King, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ron Carlson and Cecilia Tan. A nice way to fill in the time when your team has already been eliminated from the post season.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    I only half-way liked this book. It is a collection of stories about baseball by various writers. It touted being strange and supernatural, so I was looking for a different type of story. Some of the writers are rather well-known for supernatural and sci-fi, but I guess my idea of that sort of story is different that the editor's idea. There were about five of the twenty stories that I really liked, but I thought the others were rather ordinary. I think I'm going to have to quit picking story co I only half-way liked this book. It is a collection of stories about baseball by various writers. It touted being strange and supernatural, so I was looking for a different type of story. Some of the writers are rather well-known for supernatural and sci-fi, but I guess my idea of that sort of story is different that the editor's idea. There were about five of the twenty stories that I really liked, but I thought the others were rather ordinary. I think I'm going to have to quit picking story collections. I think to myself that I can do the stories piece-meal between reading other books, but I tend to get bogged down and think I have to finish the book before picking up another one. Maybe I've learned my lesson now.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Z

    The theme of this anthology was a treat! How often does one find baseball and speculative fiction combined? I enjoyed the variety of historical periods and approaches by the authors. Well written, thought-provoking stories. As a librarian, I'd recommend this to baseball enthusiasts, fans of speculative fiction/science fiction, and fans of paranormal fiction. I'd also suggest that readers of historical fiction -- particularly American historical fiction -- challenge themselves and read outside th The theme of this anthology was a treat! How often does one find baseball and speculative fiction combined? I enjoyed the variety of historical periods and approaches by the authors. Well written, thought-provoking stories. As a librarian, I'd recommend this to baseball enthusiasts, fans of speculative fiction/science fiction, and fans of paranormal fiction. I'd also suggest that readers of historical fiction -- particularly American historical fiction -- challenge themselves and read outside their usual genre with this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I love baseball. I enjoy stories of magic, supernatural, and the unexpected. This book is the perfect combination of both. Containing stories by familiar authors and many I didn't know, the contents were wide-ranging in style, but all were entertaining. I love baseball. I enjoy stories of magic, supernatural, and the unexpected. This book is the perfect combination of both. Containing stories by familiar authors and many I didn't know, the contents were wide-ranging in style, but all were entertaining.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Brockley

    Rick Wilber's Field of Fantasies is an enjoyable collection of short stories that pair baseball with the supernatural, speculative fiction and fantasy. These stories are great reads for rain delays and off days when the baseball jones is throbbing. Rick Wilber's Field of Fantasies is an enjoyable collection of short stories that pair baseball with the supernatural, speculative fiction and fantasy. These stories are great reads for rain delays and off days when the baseball jones is throbbing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    This a great collection of baseball stories!!!! Perfect time to read this book OCTOBER!!!! Puts you in the mood for payoffs and baseball!!!! Fun read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This was a mixed bunch of stories. I liked some but not others. The best ones were the ones that didn't depend on a gimmick. This was a mixed bunch of stories. I liked some but not others. The best ones were the ones that didn't depend on a gimmick.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Doug Braam

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Oswalt

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Buckeye

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fred Breidenbach

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eoinmonty

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Lindsley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rick

  24. 5 out of 5

    Meril

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rob Liebscher

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian Metheny

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Holland

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Mulford

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

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