Tag Archives: Michael Cadnum

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.

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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

Can’t Catch Me by Michael Cadnum

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Can’t Catch Me
Author: Michael Cadnum
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Fantasy, Retellings
Dates read: 6th April 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: It was a shock, I can tell you, and I think I might have been a little bit more prepared, but I know everyone says Mom and Dad should have done a better job, and I get tired of people blaming someone else for their problems.

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Synopsis

Did you ever wonder why the gingerbread man ran? Or why they chased him? This story will answer all those questions…

Thoughts

I just finished reading this short story and I can’t get the rhyme “you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!” out of my head. There is something very lyrical and stuck-in-the head about it all. And now I’m going to spend the rest of the night chanting that to my dogs and just generally freaking them out…

I’ve never really thought about how the gingerbread man felt in the story. Or even why so many people were chasing a cookie… but this short story definitely gave a new spin to an old classic. There is something in the way it’s written and the intensity of the story that made me go “duh” of course that’s the way that it was.

My favourite aspect of this story though was the very beginning. Something about those very first words completely drew me in and made me absolutely fascinated by the world in which “hot” is the beginner. And parents are just trying to do what’s best for you… even if it is keeping you in the oven.

<- OgreJourneybread Recipe ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Coyote Road edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: The Coyote Road
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Pat Murphy, Carolyn Dunn, Steve Berman, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Christopher Barzak, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Klages, Patricia A. McKillip, Theodora Goss, Charles de Lint, Katherine Vaz, Caroline Stevermer, Midori Snyder, Michael Cadnum, Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth E. Wein, Kim Antieau, Will Shetterly, Kelly Link, Holly Black, Carol Emshwiller, Jedediah Berry, Jeffrey Ford, Jane Yolen & Kij Johnson
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Short story collections, Tricksters
Dates read: 11th March – 24th October 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: She handed me a message, one that read I was to be married to a stranger.

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Synopsis

Coyote. Anansi. Brer Rabbit. Trickster characters have long been a staple of folk literature – and are a natural choice for the subject of the acclaimed Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s third “mythic” anthology. Twenty-six authors, including Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Charles de Lint (Little (Grrl) Lost), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters), Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow) and Jane Yolen, have crafted stories and poems drawing from cultures and traditions all over the world – each surprising, engrossing, and thought provoking. Terri Windling provides a comprehensive introduction to the trickster myths of the world, and the entire book is highlighted by the remarkable decorations of Charles Vess.

The Coyote Road, like its companions The Green Man (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and The Faery Reel (a World Fantasy Award Finalist), is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary fantastic fiction.

Thoughts

This collection took a long time to read. Yet, I absolutely adored it. Mostly it took a while to read because there were so many short stories filling the pages, and whenever I finished one, I often went searching for more stories by the authors I was discovering. My wishlist has grown by leaps and bounds since starting this collection.

Like many of the Ellen Datlow collections lining my shelves, the theme and collected authors in this are brilliant. Each and every story is perfectly curated to match into the theme of Tricksters. Often in surprising and confusing ways. After all, the prefect trickster never does what is expected, and many of the stories in this managed to take me by surprise.

I would suggest this collection to anybody who loves short stories, fantasy, mythology, tricksters… really I would just suggest it to almost anyone. There are sad stories and happy ones. Insanely complex tales and ones that are so beautifully simplistic. Definitely one of those collections that I’m going to read again and again.

 <- The Cinderella Game Anthology ReviewOne Odd Shoe Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Cat of the World by Michael Cadnum

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: Cat of the World
Author: Michael Cadnum
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Tricksters
Dates read: 28th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: While I first set paw upon sand in the Egypt of the Ancients, I have travelled the world.

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Synopsis

The cat is in the bag… literally. But this cat has some sharp teeth and his captors are about to face more than they bargained for.

Thoughts

Cats are tricky, difficult and irritating creatures. They always have been. They’re also kind of fun, but, mostly irritating and tricky. Which means that it makes perfect sense to have a feline creature in a collection of trickster stories. I also love that although it is a cat trickster with extra powers, it’s not quite god-like and not quite mortal… but a glorious, contrary mix of something in between.

This entire tale was quick, quirky and filled with the sassy language that I’m sure a cat would use, if he could talk. It was a lot of fun. And, considering I was reading it will feeling the after-effects of a migraine, it was a nice, easy, happy read. Although I’m not really a cat person, and am, in fact, allergic, I do love tales of these insane creatures. There is something so fun, capricious and contrary about the silly creatures. Something which speaks to me on a personal level.

Many tales of tricksters involve a wit defeating another wit. Yet, this wasn’t quite like that… the cat is kind of witty. The foes he went up against though… not so witty. Which of course, makes it even funnier and more enjoyable.

 <- Uncle Tompa ReviewHonored Guest Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Troll’s-Eye View edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for troll's-eye view book cover

Title: Troll’s-Eye View
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Delia Sherman, Garth Nix, Wendy Froud, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Peter S. Beagle, Ellen Kushner, Joseph Stanton, Holly Black, Jane Yolen, Nancy Farmer, Michael Cadnum, Catherynne M. Valente, Midori Snyder, Neil Gaiman & Kelly Link
In: Troll’s-Eye View (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, Villains
Dates read: 12th December 2018 – 1st March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I could have wept.

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Synopsis

Everyone thinks they know the real story behind the villains in fairy tales – evil, no two ways about it. But the villains themselves beg to differ. In this book you’ll hear from:
the Giant’s wife from “Jack and the Beanstalk”
the oldest of the Twelve Dancing Princesses
Rumpelstiltskin
the witch from “Hansel and Gretel”
someone called Evil Cinderella

Just watch these old stories do new tricks!

Thoughts

This is an incredibly easy, fun and engaging short story collection. It takes some brilliant authors who take you on journeys through well known fairy tales. The fact that these retellings all focus on the villains of the stories just made me love it even more. I always love the highlighting of grey areas and alternate tellings.

Troll’s-Eye View is a collection that is written for a very young age group. It’s simple and quaint. Easily accessible and fun. But, that doesn’t mean that as an adult you can’t enjoy it. There was nothing I enjoyed more than sitting down at the end of a long day and reading one of these short stories or poems. It was a great, fun and quick escape from the real world at a time when I’ve been really quite overwhelmed and stressed.

Most of my anthologies and collections contain only novellas and short stories. Troll’s-Eye View also has poems. They were enough to break up the flow throughout the story and leave you with a smile on your face.

 <- Why Light? ReviewWizard’s Apprentice Review ->
Image source: Amazon

‘Skin by Michael Cadnum

Overview
Image result for troll's-eye view book cover

Title: ‘Skin
Author: Michael Cadnum
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Villains
Dates read: 19th February 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I breathed metaphors into the nodding poet’s ear.

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

Rumplestiltskin has always seemed such an odd name for one of the “fair folk”, but was it his real name? Here Michael Cadnum offers an alternative point of view to the classical fairy tale.

Thoughts

I never quite realised how weird a name ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ is. It’s just a name that has always been. But when you read a cute little short story about how odd that is, you start to realise that it is quite an absurd name…

There were two things that I loved about this short story.

The first was the fact that Rumpelstiltskin started out as kind of a benevolent figure. He is constantly helping and assisting others towards a greater future. This is so completely at odds with the original and my understanding of him that I was kind of taken aback. Even his assistance of the girl spinning straw into gold came from a good place. It was just her attitude that turned it into something more sinister.

I don’t like the idea of eating babies. I thought I should start with that, since I actually loved the fact that a baby was eaten in this story… it kind of seemed like justice to the annoyances of the previously thought of victim of the story. A poetic kind of revenge.

 <- Castle Othello ReviewA Delicate Architecture Review ->
Image source: Amazon