FFB: Tales of Zorro

this is the 63rd in my series of forgotten books

Tales of Zorro by Richard Dean Starr, editor © 2008, Moonstone Entertainment 2008 trade paper – historical adventure, short stories

These 17 new stories use the original Zorro character and setting and abide by the general character traits most readers who buy or borrow this collection will recognize and expect. It’s been a goodly time since I saw The Mask of Zorro film with Bandaras, and a lot longer since I saw or read any other Zorro, or watched the Disney series, but I thoroughly enjoyed these stories and now I’m interested in reading more.

Contributors, in order of appearance

  • Guy Williams, Jr. with Matthew Baugh: “Introduction”
  • Sandra Curtis: “Forward”
  • Jeff Mariotte: “Mission Gold”
  • Robin Wayne Bailey: “The Return of Don Ramon”
  • Robert Greenberger: “Flood of Tears”
  • Peter David: “Colors Seen by Candlelight”
  • Greg Cox: “The Weeping Woman”
  • Nancy Holder: “Zorro in the Valley of the Shadow”
  • Tim Lasiuta and CJ Henderson: “The Fox and the Tiger”
  • Elizabeth Massie: “Corazon de Oro”
  • Richard Dean Starr: “Winds of Change”
  • Jan Adkins: “The Feathered Cape”
  • Mike Bullock and Matthew Baugh: “Enemy of My Enemy”
  • Jean Schanberger: “More Than Meets Z Eye”
  • Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin: “Stolen Heart”
  • A. C. Crispin and Kathleen O’Malley: “Tornado Warning”
  • Loren D. Estleman: “El Pajaro”
  • Edward Gorman, Robert Morrish and Terence Butler: “The False Face”
  • Max Allan Collins (an uncredited collaboration with Richard Dean Starr): “Zorro and the Fate Worse Than Death”
  • Isabel Allende: “Afterword”

That’s a pretty good line-up, and there was only one clinker in the baych, as far as I was concerned, anyway. I am aware that not everyone likes these, either because they don’t match exactly the TV series or the original stories, but they ring true for me, and I really enjoyed them. There are some who will say setting and characters aren’t exact copies of what is to be found in the McCulley story that began the character. I’ve only read an excerpt of that story, “The Curse of Capistrano”. I think the editors here did a good job of setting up guidelines for the writers which result in enjoyable stories and they have the right “feel” of Old California as they should.

So, all that said, these stories work for me, and with only one or two weak entries I enjoyed them all. I borrowed the book from the library and liked it enough to buy my own copy along with the 2nd collection, More Tales of Zorro, also edited by Richard Dean Starr. Good stuff.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

links to all the Friday Forgotten Books can be found
at the blog of Patti Abbott, Pattinase.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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13 Responses to FFB: Tales of Zorro

  1. Carl V. says:

    I remember watching the Zorro television show when I was a kid. Liked them and liked the Antonio Banderas films as well. Not sure if I realized that these were based on books, though it doesn’t surprise me that people would write short stories with this character as he is the kind of adventurous hero that seems tailor made for print. Glad you enjoyed the collection.

  2. Yes indeed, a good set. The second as well.

  3. Richard says:

    I have the second book here, waiting it’s turn to be read.

  4. I’ll have to buy these ZORRO volumes. Nice review!

  5. Richard says:

    Thank you, George, I think you’ll enjoy these.

  6. Steve Lewis says:

    I’ve been debating with myself whether to obtain any of these Zorro books. I’ve been burned too many times with anthologies like these, written by authors who have the enthusiasm but no ability to be anything more than pale and barely-breathing imitations.

    But with authors like Ed Gorman, Loren Estleman, and Max Allan Collins (among others), I’d say there’s a good chance I might like these. The Zorro I know is the one Guy Williams played, in the old Disney series which I enjoyed more than the single Johnston McCulley novel I’ve ever read.

    I’ve never seen any episodes of the Duncan Regehr TV series, and I like the character so much that I’ve been tempted into buying the complete set, sight unseen. Should I?

  7. Patti Abbott says:

    I so admire the way you men can just let go and sink into books like this one. I am always fighting any lapse of a completely realistic story. My loss.

  8. Todd Mason says:

    Steve: No. Netflix it or something, unless it’s gray-market only.

    I was wondering who the contributors were…

  9. chrislatray says:

    This sounds right up my alley. I’ve heard good things about the Zorro comics series from Dynamite, which are collected in a couple graphic novels (I think). I haven’t checked them out, but have always meant to (same with the Lone Ranger series they have done).

  10. Richard says:

    Sorry, Todd, I meant to put the TOC info in… now updated.

  11. Richard says:

    Steve, what Todd said.

    Patti, which is the reason you struggle with Science fiction, fantasy, perhaps even horror… I figure it’s real if the author tells me the story, because it’s real within the fiction. That may not make sense. It’s as real as fairy tales were when they were read to me as a child, I’ve never lost that sense of wonder, not the willingness to suspend disbelief.

  12. Richard says:

    Chris, I’m ambivalent about the Dynamite stuff, the artwork always seems a little sub-par to me.

  13. Thank you for the very kind words about TALES OF ZORRO and MORE TALES OF ZORRO. I greatly appreciate it! If you’re on Facebook, feel free to send me a “Friend Request”.

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