Wild Cards series published by Tor Books. There are 5 stories bound together by a segue/interlude story written by Steven Leigh. The book credits G.R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass as editor/assistant editor respectively.
I remember picking up the original books in the series in about 1987(ish) and loving the whole idea of a shared universe anthology series. I'm already a huge fan of anthologies because there are always at least some stories that appeal at any given time and there are always new-to-me authors to follow up on after devouring the anthology. I'm also very fond of short fiction because it provides a whole different set of problems and it's always fun (and often enlightening) to see how authors adapt to the constraints of a shorter narrative.
This book is 336 pages of well edited and curated fantasy goodness. If you're familiar with the wildcards universe and premise, this is a good one. If you're not familiar with wildcards before now, this is a very good standalone novel to introduce the concept and some of the characters.
I loved the character Steam Wilbur ("In the Shadow of Tall Stacks" Steven Leigh). That's him on the cover. Leigh's interlude stories give the whole anthology a nice cohesiveness.
The stories are all strong, but I especially loved "A Big Break in the Small Time" by Carrie Vaughn. I couldn't stop smiling reading it. Deftly written and exciting and I'm a total sucker for couples who really care about one another. Sweet!
Four and a half stars
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.