11.5. “Love Hurts”, Songs of Love and Death (Nov 2010)

Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love (2010) Edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner R. Dozois

Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love (2010) — Anthology 

Genre and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy / SciFi-Urban Fantasy / Fantasy / PNR / Historical Romance

—Cross-genre anthology: fantasy, science fiction, and romance

Theme Edit

Cross genre tales of ill-fated love.


A crossgenre anthology George R.R. Martin edited with Gardner Dozois, featuring seventeen original never-before-published tales of star-crossed lovers, with a lineup that includes fantasy, paranormal romance, and SF, written by some of today’s hottest writers. Martin ✥ This collection of short stories is exactly what the subtitle says: tales of star-crossed love. Crossing a gamut of sub-genres within the realms of science fiction and fantasy, there should be something here for almost everyone. ✥ 

The collection contains tales that tell of the fate of lovers brought together and torn apart by intergalactic warfare, evil demonic beings, time travel, and a post-apocalyptic wasteland, to name a few. The stories range from modern-day detective fare, to medieval courtship, to futuristic space adventures. Several popular writers contributed to the anthology, including Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Jacqueline Carey, Diana Gabaldon, and Jim Butcher. ✥ ~ Book Review: Songs of Love and Death | Cyber Isko

Editor and AuthorsEdit

Editor: George R.R. Martin (Epic Fantasy), Gardner R. Dozois (SciFi)

Contributors: George R.R. Martin (Epic Fantasy), Gardner R. Dozois (SciFi), Jacqueline Carey (Hist-Fant-ErotRom, UF), Lisa Tuttle (SciFi-Rom-Fant), Linnea Sinclair (Sci-Rom), Mary Jo Putney (Rom, PNR), Tanith Lee (Fant-Advent, Sci, Hor), Peter S. Beagle (Fant, UF), Yasmine Galenorn (PNR-UF), Diana Gabaldon (Hist-Fant-Romance, time-trav), Jo Beverley (Hist-Rom), Carrie Vaughn (UF), M.L.N. Hanover (UF), Cecelia Holland (Hist-Fict-fant), Melinda M. Snodgrass (UF-Fant, SciFi-Intrig), Robin Hobb (Fant, Hist, Myst), Neil Gaiman (Fant-UF), Marjorie M. Liu (PNR-UF), Jim Butcher (UF, Fant)

Supernatural ElementsEdit

Paranormal-Fantasy Elements: Wizard, incubus, 'zombpires', superheroes, ghost, vampires, zombies, werewolf, demonic poltergeist, love spells, curse, minstrel, fortuneteller, time-travel, realm of illusion, man trapped in mirror, made up girlfriend comes alive, race of magical people (Guardians),

Sci-fi Elements: alien species, planetary battle, Imperial cruiser, tradeship, mercenary ship, starship, outer-galaxy lover

List of Stories Edit

Story Title Series and Order # Author Gen Supe Elements Lead(s)
"Love Hurts” Dresden Files serie #11.5 Jim Butcher UF Wizard, love spells Harry, Murphy
"The Marrying Maid" none Jo Beverly Hist-Fant-Rom Faeries, curse Robert Loxsleigh, Martha Darby
“Rooftops” superheroes Carrie Vaughn none superheroes Blue Collar, Charlotte
“Hurt Me” none M.L.N. Hanover UF Ghost, demonic poltergeist Corrie,
“Demon Lover” none Cecelia Holland Fant incubus, wizard, realm of illusion Fioretta,
"The Wayfarer's Advice" none Melinda M. Snodgrass SciFi planetary battle, alien species Tracy, Mercedes
“Blue Boots” Farseer & Wildship Traders universe Robin Hobb Hist-Fant ? Timbal, Azen
“The Thing About Cassandra” none Neil Gaiman Wierd-fant made up girlfriend comes alive Stuart, Cassandra
“After the Blood” none Marjorie M. Liu PNR-post-apocalyptic 'zombpires', Vamps, zombies, tech fails Amanda, Henry
"You, and You Alone" Kushiel's Universe #1.5 Jacqueline Carey HIst-fant ? Anafiel Delaunay,
“His Wolf” none Lisa Tuttle PNR wolf (werewolf) Katherine Hills, Cody Vela
"Courting Trouble" none Linnea Sinclair sci-fi starship, Serenity Beck, Nicandro Talligar
“The Demon Dancer” Guardians series Mary Jo Putney PNR demonic Succubus, race of magical people David,
“Under/Above the Water” none Tanith Lee Hist-Fant-Rom fortuneteller, fisher Zaeli, Angelo; Amba, Zehrendir;
“Kashkia” none Peter S. Beagle SciFi outer-galaxy lover Martin, Kaskia
“Man in the Mirror” none Yasmine Galenorn PNR-UF man trapped in mirror Laurel, Galen's spirit
“A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” Outlander series #8.5 Diana Gabaldon Time-Trav-Rom Time-travel Jerry, Marjorie

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

Synopsis by StoryEdit

Love Hurts” by Jim ButcherDresden Files series #11.5

✥ It follows Harry and Murphy tracking down a love spell slinging villain and dealing with their own past failed relationships. ✥ Wizard private investigator Harry Dresden and his police friend Karrin Murphy investigate a series of sick love spells that drive the victims mad with desperate, perverted passion. Their research seems to lead them to the culprit immediately but they soon realize their partnership may make them vulnerable. — Sexual Content: Kissing. References to incest.

The Marrying Maid” by Jo Beverly

Robert Loxsleigh must marry before his twenty-fifth birthday or an ancestral faery curse will kill him and every member of his extended family. Unfortunately, his destined bride, Martha Darby, is the virtuous daughter of a minister and does not believe in heresies such as faeries. ✥ Weaving together the Robin Hood legend, the faerie King Oberon and his Queen Titiana, The Marrying Maid is a sweet Jane Austen-esque romance between a twenty-four year old spinster and the possibly mad Viscount who relentlessly pursues. Lots of renaissance style romance and witty dialogue. ✥ (Longer synopsis here) — Sexual Content: Kissing. A brief sex scene. ✥ 

✥ The moment Rob Loxsleigh seen her he knew she was the one. Oh he thought others could’ve be the one, up until the moment he kissed them and realized they were not his marrying maid. But with her he didn’t even need to get near her to tell, she was the one. Martha Darby could feel the heat of this man’s stare. But knowing that a man of his stature could only have one interest in a woman of her social status, she dismissed him right away. Even once he approached her and her mother and made his interest known she still tried to refuses him. Unnerved by her attraction to him and his persistence to pursue her made her resist harder. Rob knew he couldn’t push this beautiful woman or he would lose her completely but if he didn’t hurry and convince her to marry him the curse set on his family would be activated and his entire family, any one within his blood line would die within a year. ✥

Rooftops” by Carrie Vaughn

✥ A playwright living in a version of Gotham City is rescued by a masked crusader. A strong contender for my favorite story. A shy new superhero? Yes, please. ✥ In a this world, superheroes are a common day part of society. A lonely playwright witnesses a burglary and is saved by somewhat low-key Superhero dubbed Blue Collar by the press. Blue Collar has a ‘I do what I can’ attitude. ✥ When playwright Charlotte is rescued by a masked, brown-eyed superhero, she can't stop thinking about him or wondering why her brown-eyed boyfriend, assistant district attorney Dorian, is always working late into the night. This story explores the differences between expectations, dreams and goals. Charlotte always thought Dorian was heroic for helping to put bad guys in prison, but after her brush with the superheroic she finds herself discontented with her old life and wondering more and more about what else there is. — Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex.

Hurt Me” by M.L.N. Hanover

Ghost story with a modern twist—A woman buys a new home only to learn from her neighbors a grim story about the original owners and the history of hauntings since. ✥ When Corrie buys a house, her neighbors warn her that it is haunted and her mother begs her to reconsider living there. But Corrie has scars of her own and demons she needs to confront. The demonic poltergeist has its roots in a case of domestic abuse that left the husband vanished, the wife in an insane asylum and the house possessed by a spirit that hates women. ✥ — Sexual Content: Brief sensuality. References to S&M.

Demon Lover” by Cecelia Holland (Fantasy)

✥ An odd, adult fairy tale about a scarred woman who trades her freedom to an incubus in exchange for eternal beauty and the simple man who tries to save her. ✥ A homely village girl flees from a stuttering suitor into a wizard’s realm of illusion, where she is the chosen consort of the wizard… but every bit of beauty has its own terrible price. ✥ Fioretta was beautiful before the fire scarred and maimed her. Now she knows she's reached rock bottom when the local ne'er-do-well orders her to marry him. She flees her village and stumbles into a magical castle where her beauty and health are restored and her worldly troubles cease. But what price will she pay for her new happiness? Fioretta is a crippled woman chasing the dreams of her girlhood, and the castle is creepy, with walls that weep if you look too closely. — Sexual Content: Scenes of sensuality. ✥

"The Wayfarer's Advice" by Melinda M. Snodgrass (SciFi)

✥ A mercenary ship rescues an Imperial princess from the wreckage of a terrible planetary battle – a princess who happens to be the captain’s ex-lover, and who also happens to be tired of the demands of Imperial politics. ✥ The captain of a tradeship stumbles on the wreckage of a Imperial cruiser (different wording, same thing) and he's pretty sure his old flame was on board. ✥ Tracy is a tailor's son, once a soldier in the army, now captain of a trading spaceship. Mercedes is the emperor's daughter, as high above him as one can get, and duty-bound to execute her orders of cultural extinction. In this universe, humans started conquering other alien species as soon as they arrived on the scene, which is a change from most sci-fi settings which assume that the latecoming humans will have inferior technology. But this isn't portrayed as a positive thing, since the aliens work with each other peacefully and see humans as bloodthirsty conquistadors. Even other humans hate the warmongering League which denies them the chance to live peacefully alone and forcibly assimilates them into its empire. So the conflict in this short is twofold: the class conflict that prevents the Crown Princess from marrying a man from the middle class, and the tensions of Tracy's alien crew who have little love for their violent enslavers. ✥

Blue Boots” by Robin Hobb (Fantasy author) — Set in the same universe as her Farseer and Wildship Traders trilogies

Timbal is an orphaned kitchen maid, known for the blue boots her father gave her just before his death. She has the poor judgment to fall in love with Azen, her lady's favorite minstrel, and realizes too late that the games played with words and loyalties are far above her head. ✥ This story takes place in one of the more remote seven duchies. A young serving maid can't help but become infatuated with the handsome minstrel of the keep, even when there are rumours that the minstrel is in fact involved in some way with the Lady of the Keep. They go on one date, but then he goes with the lady on an extended journey, and the entire keep is abuzz with gossip about how the lady's coming back with an heir for the crippled lord. Heart-broken, the girl is caught in a storm, nearly dies, and loses her memory. Can she ever be reunited with her minstrel lover? ✥ — Sexual Content: A non graphic sex scene.

The Thing About Cassandra” by Neil Gaiman

✥ A man begins to reminisce about his first love, revealing something very surprising about her before he runs into her again as an adult. ✥ This is a story about a guy who makes up a first girlfriend, then is troubled when people start saying they’ve run into her. Very “Twilight Zone”. ✥ Stuart's old girlfriend Cassandra has resurfaced in his life, appearing on Facebook and bumping into his mother at the store. The thing is, he made her up when he was fifteen and she was never real. ✥ — Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex.

After the Blood” by Marjorie M. Liu

✥ In a post-apocalyptic world in which the Big Death turned the infected into zombpires, a young woman living in Amish country must face the fact that her lover’s family disapproves of their relationship – and of what their son has become. ✥ Vampires, zombies and the Amish collide in this post apocalyptic tale that throws you right into the middle of the story. The ending is left open to be the start of the series. ✥ When technology fails, the Amish way suddenly flourishes as people relearn subsistence farming. But their pacifist principles are put to the test by the monsters that come out of the forest at night to prey upon the living. Amanda, the main protagonist, has to feel her way through this world in the dark, by faith and instinct. Amanda and Henry are bound by painful secrets they have to confront to protect his family. ✥ — Sexual Content: Kissing.

"You, and You Alone" by Jacqueline Carey — Kushiel's Universe #1.5

✥ Delauney's story, only hinted at in Kushiel's Dart. ✥ As Anafiel Delaunay lays dying, he reflects on the events that brought him here. It all started when he was sent to negotiate a marriage treaty and instead fell in love with his sister's bridegroom himself. This short is to be the backstory of one of her characters. ✥ A young nobleman falls in love with a prince of the realm, but can their relationship survive a lifetime of courtly schemes and plots? ✥ 

His Wolf” by Lisa Tuttle

Recently relocated, Katherine Hills, a small town collage English teacher always felt her life was incomplete until Cody Vela and his wolf Lobo walked into it. Cody told her how he found Lobo tied to a tree and he saved him and ever since he has changes his life to accommodate Lobo. He saved him and gave his life to his wolf. Though crazy, this man brought out feelings in her she never felt. She learns things about Cody she doesn't like. After a few weeks of hearing nothing Katherine fears the worst—that is when the wolf shows up without Cody. Where is he? How did the wolf get here? Will she ever see Cody again? ✥ When English teacher Katherine meets a pet wolf running loose on her school campus, she feels strangely drawn to him and his master, Cody. But their whirlwind romance is threatened by human forces. ✥ — Sexual Content: References to sex.

"Courting Trouble" by Linnea Sinclair (sci-fi)

✥ The captain of a tradeship finds herself relying on an old friend for help, years after he betrayed her trust. ✥ Captain Serenity Beck's ship has been impounded illegally and her only hope of getting it back rests with Nicandro Talligar, the man who betrayed her years ago. ✥ Another sci-fi story where an intrepid starship captain reunites with her former best friend, who also happens to be a spy. They had a massive falling out when she felt he supported her cheating ex-boyfriend over her. Turns out he totally fancied her and still does. Now he they have to rescue her spaceship from being destroyed. ✥ 

The Demon Dancer” by Mary Jo Putney — Guardians series

✥ The story follows a young Guardian and the elderly Guardian woman he has come to care for in an impossible way as they hunt down a demonic Succubus. The relationship between the two leads was touching in a regretful hopeless way. They cared deeply for the other and mourned a love that could never be.“ ~ Maryjo Putney.comDavid is a Guardian, which isn't fully explained but is apparently a race of magical people. He's in love with Lady Bethany, an elderly Guardian forty years his senior. When a succubus starts killing homeless men, they work together to track her down and vanquish her. ✥

Under/Above the Water” by Tanith Lee

✥ Dreamlike story about lovers from different times and different worlds, sought to find their lost soul mates from another life. Retold from different POV’s. ✥ A love story in six characters. There's Zaeli and Angelo, living in a near future type world. Zaeli has fallen hard for Angelo, who will never requite her love now that he has committed suicide. There's Amba and Zehrendir, in a past city of kings and palaces and courtyard gardens that feels like a B.C.E. Mediterranean culture. Except Amba has fallen in love with Zeh's brother and eloped with him. And then there are the fisher and the fortuneteller, who never meet but are integral to the winding love story. An interesting take on the soul mates trope—in those worlds, what happens to all those people who miss the connection? ✥ — Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex.

Kashkia” by Peter S. Beagle (SciFi)

✥ Story about a lonely middle aged man who finds companionship with an alien beauty he meets online. ✥ Martin is a balding, forty-one-year-old grocery store manager whose marriage has long ago settled into a convenient roommates relationship. His new computer, connects him to an inhumanly beautiful woman from someplace far away and he finds himself growing more distant to the "real" world. These lovers are quite literally star-crossed, as Kaskia lives in another galaxy. ✥ — Sexual Content: None.

Man in the Mirror” by Yasmine Galenorn

✥ A young woman moves into the family home of her deceased abusive husband and finds her self falling for the sad handsome man trapped in her mirror. A surprisingly soft and tender romance from the typically bold Galenorn. Sexual Content: References to masturbation. ✥ Galen's spirit has been trapped in the mirrors at his cousin Jason's house for years. When Laurel, Jason's widow, moves into the house, Galen knows that she can free him. However, her cat, Circe, is determined to stop him. ✥

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” by Diana Gabaldon — Outlander series #8.5 (Time-travel Romance)

✥ A WWII RAF fighter pilot crashes his plane during a test flight over Northumbria, and finds himself not only miles but centuries from home, and from the woman he loves. ✥ The story of Roger’s fighter pilot father Jerry and his ill-fated trip through the stones and his desperate struggle to return home to his wife and infant son. ✥ Set in the Outlander series during World War II, this short tells the tale of Jerry, a fighter pilot lost in time, and his wife Marjorie who refuses to accept his death. — Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex.

"It's a little unusual, in that it's about Roger MacKenzie's parents--but it does fill the interesting hole regarding Roger's father that I opened up in AN ECHO IN THE BONE. - Diana Gabaldon"

~ Sources:

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Tony Mauro— Source:  Publication Listing

Publishing InformationEdit

Cover Blurb Edit

In this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a postapocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth-century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate.

Award-winning, bestselling author Neil Gaiman demonstrates why he’s one of the hottest stars in literature today with “The Thing About Cassandra,” a subtle but chilling story of a man who meets an old girlfriend he had never expected to see.

International blockbuster bestselling author Diana Gabaldon sends a World War II RAF pilot through a stone circle to the time of her Outlander series in “A Leaf on the Winds of All Hallows.” Torn from all he knows, Jerry MacKenzie determinedly survives hardship and danger, intent on his goal of returning home to his wife and baby—no matter the cost.

New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher presents “Love Hurts,” in which Harry Dresden takes on one of his deadliest adversaries and in the process is forced to confront the secret desires of his own heart.

Just the smallest sampling promises unearthly delights, but look also for stories by New York Times bestselling romance authors Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, and by such legends of the fantasy genre as Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee, as well as many other popular and beloved writers, including Marjorie M. Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, and Robin Hobb. This exquisite anthology, crafted by the peerless editing team of George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is sure to leave you under its spell. ~ Songs of Love and Death - drey's library

About the Editors Edit

About George R.R. Martin:

George R.R. Martin has been called “the American Tolkien,” and his books, including the volumes in his landmark A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, have been on bestseller lists around the world.

About Gardner Dozois:

Gardner Dozois is the author or editor of more than a hundred books. He was the editor of the leading science fiction magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction, for eighteen years, and is also the editor of the annual anthology series The Year’s Best Science Fiction, now in its 27th annual collection. ~ drey's library

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