The Unfettered anthologies are collections of short stories collected and set forth by Shawn Speakman, and are something of a “who’s who” of fantasy writers. Genre heavyweights like Terry Brooks, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, and dozens of others have contributed stories to the anthologies since the first Unfettered was released.
Unfettered I was born of Mr. Speakman seeking a way to free himself from the medical debt he had incurred during treatments for cancer, and the anthology series has since become something of a charitable project, with the proceeds going to support the medical needs of others involved in the writing business, especially when it comes to battling cancer.
Beyond the story of the stories, the short stories and novellas featured in Unfettered III, as well as the previous two anthologies, are nothing short of excellent examples of the craft. In all three anthologies, there have been stories that made me think “I should never try to publish, because I could never write anything this good.” Some of the stories are fully original short stories, while others are backstories or additions to existing worlds. Cut scenes from The Wheel of Time that didn’t make the final editions make an appearance, as do classic characters like Allanon from The Sword of Shannara.
With both a good cause, and good stories, I highly recommend the Unfettered anthologies for anyone interested in fantasy short stories.