Tag Archives: Lawrence Schimel

Black Thorn, White Rose edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Black Thorn, White Rose
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede, Ann Downer, Daniel Quinn, M.E. Beckett, Michael Kandel, Michael Cadnum, Lawrence Schimel, Isabel Cole, Tim Wynne-Jones, Midori Snyder, Jane Yolen, Howard Waldrop, Roger Zelazny, Peter Straub, Ellen Steiber, Storm Constantine & Susan Wade
Series: Adult Fairy Tales #2
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Short story collections
Dates read: 12th February – 25th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: Thank you for your last letter, which reached me before I set off.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

The award-winning editors of II Snow White, Blood Red II return us to distinctly adult realms of myth and the fantastic with eighteen wondrous works. From Roger Zelazny’s delightful tale of Death’s disobedient godson to Peter Straub’s blood-chilling look at a gargantuan Cinderella, here are stories strange and miraculous that remold our most cherished childhood fables into things sexier, more sinister… and more appealing to grown-up tastes and sensibilities.

Thoughts

After reading Snow White, Blood Red, I knew that I needed the other books which were edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling featuring fairy tale retellings. Because these aren’t the retellings that you would expect. And they’re not the kinds of retellings that make you feel all nice and fluffy on the inside. They’re dark and twisted in places. Sexual in others. And just downright make you think most of the time.

Many of the authors in this collection are ones that I have already come across. Which is something I most certainly enjoyed. A few were totally new to me. Enough to make me wonder who I would be coming across next, but not so much that I felt like I had a whole slew of new people to add to my shelves. Rather, it was a fair few authors who are already in my wishlist…

I love the constant returning to fairy tales that were reminiscent of the Grimm Brothers. It’s a nice little departure from the more common fairy tales that I find. And other than Rumpelstiltskin and Red Riding Hood, the vast majority of these fairy tales were of the lesser known variety. Which suited me perfectly. I like those more abstract stories at times.

<- Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy WidowerWords Like Pale Stones ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic edited by Mike Ashley

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic
Author: Mike Ashley, Steve Rasnic Tem, Richard A. Lupoff, Doug Hornig, Tom Holt, Tim Pratt, Diana Wynne Jones, John Morressy, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Kurland, Michael Moorcock, Robert Weinberg, Darrell Schweitzer, Ralph Adams Cram, Ursula K. Le Guin, A.C. Benson, Lawrence Schimel, Mike Resnick, Esther M. Friesner, Tim Lebbon, David Sandner, Marion Zimmer Bradley, James Bibby, Louise Cooper & Peter Crowther
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic, Short story collections
Dates read: 8th January – 7th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: “I heard all you field hockey chicks are lesbians,” Curly said, still smiling.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

23 spellbinding tales of sorcery, wizardry and witchcraft.

From Gandalf to Harry Potter, sorcerers and wizards have always enthralled us. It is their power, above all, that we covet – the ultimate wish fulfilment of being able to do whatever we want – to fly, or make ourselves invisible, or to conjure something from nothing.

Here, from some of the most outstanding writers of fantasy, is a wonderfully varied collection of stories which explores the tensions and dilemmas in dealing with magic, from a child’s first struggle to control magical powers to epic clashes between the forces of good and evil.

Thoughts

It took me a little while to seriously get into this collection. But, once I did… I was completely hooked. I quite obviously love fantasy from the books that fill my shelves. But, as I’ve gotten older, I have found that I am drawn again and again to fantasy of a darker bent. Although not all of these short stories suited that desire, they just weren’t that dark… this collection was still seriously brilliant.

The stories in this collection just completely run the gamut. There are some serious, dark and twisted stories. Some that are fun and light. And a few that make you question the state of the world as we know it. All the stories were enjoyable in one way or another, although maybe not as memorable as some of the other short stories that I’ve read.

This is a great little collection. One that is interesting and fun. There was a lot surrounding ideas of chaos throughout, which makes it one of those collections that I’ll probably want to read again. There always seems to be this sense of confusion and intricacy about chaos stories that just makes me want to read them again and again.

<- The Mammoth Book of CthulhuTen Things I Know About the Wizard ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Journeybread Recipe by Lawrence Schimel

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Journeybread Recipe
Author: Lawrence Schimel
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Horror
Dates read: 20th April 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: Cover, and, warm and moist, let the bloated belly rise nine months.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

A quaint, disturbing little recipe.

Thoughts

Not quite a poem, and not quite prose. This is a really disturbing two pages of reading. But, you know… disturbing in the best of ways.

I love that this is the recipe for making a Gingerbread Man. After all, there are so many different stories about the man (boy, child) himself, but so very few that feature the making of him. Or the motives behind his making… that one I’m still trying to figure out.

Although this is just two pages. It is really, seriously disturbing. It is a unique take on the very well-known fairytale. One that left me with a seriously uncomfortable and unsettled feeling at the end of it. Just brilliant.

<- Can’t Catch MeThe Brown Bear of Norway ->

Image source: Goodreads

Disillusioned by Lawrence Schimel & Mike Resnick

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: Disillusioned
Author: Lawrence Schimel & Mike Resnick
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic
Dates read: 5th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 1995
5th sentence, 74th page: Vivian sighed, wishing she were elsewhere, but she displayed no outward sign of her boredom, laughing along with the other assembled members of the Thirteen Families.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

The world is run by those with powerful magic. Members of the Thirteen Families. But, when do the illusions end and reality begin? When does it become something much, much more?

Thoughts

This is a great story that reminds us – even when we get everything that we want, it might not be what we actually need. Vivian manages to rise to the top of her society, she uses all of her cunning and intelligence. Yet, once she’s there… there is nothing. No feeling of excitement no feeling of accomplishment. Just. Total. Disillusionment.

I found this short story quite a poignant reminder – sometimes the thing that you are working towards (power, prestige) isn’t necessarily what you need to be happy. Sometimes it is just empty and meaningless. Especially if you have a split moment in which you realise that it is all just an illusion. A figment of reality that is constructed by others.

This story is a little bit funny, a little bit dark and definitely one that will draw you in from the very beginning. It is intriguing and engaging. And not one that I am likely to forget anytime soon.

<- The Closed WindowIn the Realm of Dragons ->

Image source: Hachette Australia