Because size matters when it comes to fantasy by the pool.
This Big Book of Classic Fantasy is not a typical pull for me to take to my backyard throne (which looks a lot like a beach lounge chair) and indulge in.
I obviously love fantasy and speculative fiction in general but because I have a lifetime of pursuing that love behind me I typically pass on anthologies of this nature because I simply would have either read most of what is within or the story choices would be so perfunctory if I had missed them it would be for a reason of my own.
This joint is edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer though and they both have impeccable taste going back a long ways, so much so a cult could form around them, a well read bunch loyal to the Ministry of Whimsy.
I’ve probably got more great book recommendation from Jeff than from anyone else. Leena Krohn, Hal Duncan, Edward Whittemore, Michael Cisco, Tamar Yellin, Peter Raftos, Edward Carey, and many, many, more authors found their way to my bookshelves due to a pointer from Jeff. These are directions that can change people’s lives when you consider the number of hours I’ve spent reading the words of so many other humans because another human shouted them out.
Jeff, obviously, is great writer in his own right. Many years ago I interviewed him at length about his own work which I love, and that was when we were talking Ambergris not Annihilation, which would come years later and be made into a wonderful (tho vastly different) film directed by Alex Garland (who only makes interesting films). His Secret Life is low key one of my favorite short story collections still.
Anyway, I have a Big Book of Classic Fantasy to read and maybe after I’ll dive back into some classic VanderMeer novels. I haven’t been to Ambergris in awhile.