Tuesday, March 18, 2014
An enchanting collection
I've found another mystery book in my library - I have no idea where it came from, when I got it, or if the cover was missing when I found it or fell off later. I'm going to go with fell off later because the back cover is falling off too.
Faerie Tales is exactly as advertised - a collection of stories about fairies, but with a modern twist. The stories all take place either in our world or in the future. I won't say that they're uniformly charming tales, but the collection as a whole is very entertaining.
"Sweet Forget-Me-Not" by Charles de Lint
A bullied boy meets a group of gemmin, fey girls who collect memories of a place and then move on. He rapidly falls in love with one of them and lets her go.
"The September People" by Tim Waggoner
An old woman returns to a place that she had found once in her youth, trying to unearth answers about the curious thing there that defined and changed her life.
"Judgment" by Kathryn Rusch
During the Nuremberg Trials one of the Folk who has abandoned the People to live as a human experiences the city as a war photographer, wondering all the while about his People and whether they are still in the ruined woods beyond the city.
"Changeling" by John Helfers
Though he has been loved all of his life by his family, Trent knows he is different and one day he finds out why.
"Yellow Tide Foam" by Sarah A. Hoyt
Children are disappearing from the city and a tough narcotics detective wants to know why. As she investigates she loses an informant to the strange scourge and begins to believe in another world, but is unsure whether that world is cold or kind.
"He said, Sidhe said" by Tanya Huff
Titania is tormented by Puck after bringing a skater home to meet the fairy court. She wonders whether she may just have truly terrible taste in men. This is a delightfully irreverent but somewhat painful-reading update of Shakespeare's fairyland.
"A very special relativity" by Jim Fiscus
If Einstein was right, how is the ship going where it's going? An enslaved crewman finds out and there's a great joke about an ill-advised king in the middle of a cockfight.
"Witches'-broom, apple soon" by Jane Lindskold
A young coyote doesn't really understand what the people and fauns around her are up to, but at least she knows better than to mess with the trees. This was a WONDERFUL story, maybe my favorite in the collection.
"Wyvern" by Wen Spencer
Is racism interdimensional or interpersonal? It doesn't have to be either, at least not when you've got a wyvern to worry about.
"A piece of flesh" by Adam Stemple
This is another changeling story, and a much creepier one to boot. If everyone in it wasn't terrible I might give a shit about it.
"The filial fiddler" by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Two old ladies come to the hospital and one young nurse has trouble chasing off a midnight fiddler who haunts their room.
"The stolen child" by Michelle West
What happens to the people left behind when someone dances in a fairy ring? And can you ever get back home? Not the greatest story here, and not the one I'd have chosen to end this collection, but interesting enough at any rate.
Davis, Russell and Martin H. Greenberg, ed. Faerie Tales. Daw Books, Inc.
New York: New York. 2004.