This weighty compendium features 28 contemporary storytellers using modern literary techniques to retell and reexamine ancient legends, with both sharp and blurry results. Among the best are the shortest--Brooke Bolander's "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies," an uncompromising tale of the Furies taking revenge on a serial killer--as well as the longest--Rachel Pollack's "Immortal Snake," a postmodern mashup of the legend of the kingdom of Darfur mixed with Egyptian, biblical, and Greek elements. Most incisively, Elizabeth Hand's "Calypso in Berlin" updates the nymph who captivated Odysseus, showing the power of art to both literally and metaphorically transform lives, while Neil Gaiman's "Chivalry" uses mock epic to gently poke fun at those enthralled by sagas' devices and trappings. Telling a futuristic myth in ancient tones, Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due's "Trickster" combines a monstrous alien tyranny with the East African deceiver, Mantis. Some of the pieces read as chapters from longer works, but they are still fairly strong blends of myth with science fiction (Yoon Ha Lee's "Foxfire, Foxfire," Ken Liu's "The Ten Suns") or inventive retellings of the classics (Priya Sharma's "Thesea and Astaurius"). Unfortunately, modernization only produces made-for-TV monsters in John Shirley's "Zhuyin," the only story original to this volume. Fans of fables will find this a delightful exploration of the ways ancient stories can still captivate.Â (May)Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.