Goblin Tales
by Jim C. Hines

Cover for Goblin Tales by Jim C. Hines, art by Daniel Ernle

art by Daniel Ernle

published by Jim C. Hines 2011
ISBN: 978-1-257-04941-7

available at http://www.lulu.com
also available as an ebook

5 bookmarks (out of 5)

This is a collection of five short stories, all featuring various characters from Jim Hines’ Goblin books [Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero, Goblin War] that help fill in some interesting background. While all of the stories have been previously published in various collections and magazines, it was wonderfully convenient to have them all assembled in one place
In general, I’m a big fan of writers who fill in bits and pieces around a series with short fiction–it’s like going to the movies and running into an old friend in the ticket line. You not only enjoy the film, but you have someone to chat about it over coffee afterward.
The stories are basically in chronological order. They start at the very beginning of our interest in goblins with Jig as a not-so-adorable baby goblin in “Goblin Lullaby,” which focuses on another goblin with a lot of ingenuity: Grell. In some ways it reminded me of the fight scene in Hellboy involving a large monster and a box of kittens.
Next up is “The Haunting of Jig’s Ear,” showing Jig as a young goblin, already being picked on for his small stature, and already refusing to just go along to get along. So we see the beginnings of him using his mind to overcome his size disadvantage. But never forget he is a goblin.
“Goblin Hunter” is the important introduction of Smudge, Jig’s fire-spider “pet” and staunch companion. Smudge is my favorite character from the series, and it’s nice to know how he and Jig got together.
“School Spirit” moves out of the Goblin caves with an episode from the the life of Veda (from Goblin Hero). She has made it to a magician’s school, but is facing the inevitable prejudice because she is a goblin.
My favorite story in the collection is the last one, “Mightier Than the Sword.” This one introduces the concept of the libriomancer, someone who can breech the barriers between our reality and the world of various books. Smudge even has a cameo in the story. There will be an upcoming trilogy featuring the world of the libriomancer–I know I’m looking forward to it!

For more information about Jim C. Hines, his writing or Goblins, visit http://www.jimchines.com