Tales of the Hidden World is a short story collection of old and new tales by the hand of Simon R. Green. It’s a mix of urban fantasy, dark fantasy, zombies, swashbuckling, dystopias and space operas.
This irrevocably makes that the reader will like one tale more than the other, but it needs to be said that there are some gems in here and definitely some characters and settings I personally hope to see more of (my personal favourite is All About the Rendering, of which I dearly hope to be able to read more in the future).
I won’t delve into separate stories, as I don’t want to spoil any of them for those that haven’t read this work yet, but I will say that it’s cool to see the evolution of Simon R. Green’s style, and to read the kind of story from him I wouldn’t usually pick up (to illustrate, I am avid fan of his Ghost Finders, Secret Histories and especially his Nightside series, but I don’t read any of the others such as Hawk and Fisher or Death Stalker). The little note of the author attached to every tale is also a nice touch.
What I will say, however, is this. For the fans of the Droods, there’s a story about one of the members of the family in there we’ve come to love and know during the entire series. It’s probably not the kind of tale you’d expect, but I would advise that if you read this series, to read this before the next instalment comes out because else you’ll undoubtedly be rather surprised and wondering what the hell happened to aforementioned character.
And that’s all I’ll say about this, because I really don’t want to spoil it.
In short (no pun intended), for fans of short story collections that are a combination of genres, or of Simon R. Green’s writing, Tales of the Hidden World is a book I’d recommend. It may also very well be the kind of work for someone that wants to get into fictional works but hasn’t quite settled on a genre yet, it’s a fine way of finding out what you like best.