Tag Archives: Nancy Kress

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

Words Like Pale Stones by Nancy Kress

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Words Like Pale Stones
Author: Nancy Kress
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
Dates read: 6th May 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: He had made me forget for a few minutes what awaited me in the morning.

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Synopsis

A young peasant girl has a boastful mother. But, when that boasting gets her into trouble, she finds that things are going to go very, very wrong.

Thoughts

Rumpelstiltskin is one of my preferred fairy tales. There is just something about it that I love, and the fact that it was has been used across many of the different retellings and TV series that I have watched makes it even more thrilling. Which meant that having a Rumpelstiltskin story to open the collection Black Thorn, White Rose made me really happy. It was a great, slightly darker start to these adult fairy tale retellings.

Most stories of Rumpelstiltskin paint the young woman as an innocent, and one that falls in love with the prince. Although she still begins this story as an innocent, the prince isn’t so… pure. Actually, he’s a class A a-hole. And then there’s the fact that she is supposed to give up her first born. But, as in all good retellings, the reason why she gives up her first born isn’t quite what is expected. Actually, I really wasn’t sure why she was riding off with her child in readiness to give him away until the very last moment. And even now, I’m not sure that I like the way in which it ends…

<- Black Thorn, White RoseStronger Than Time ->

Image source: Goodreads

Snow White, Blood Red edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for snow white, blood red book cover

Title: Snow White, Blood Red
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Susan Wade, Charles de Lint, Gahan Wilson, Nancy Kress, Tanith Lee, Wendy Wheeler, Kathe Koja, Gregory Frost, Elizabeth A. Lynn, Harvey Jacobs, Steve Rasnic Tem, Melanie Tem, Caroline Stevermer, Ryan Edmonds, Neil Gaiman, Leonard Rysdyk, Esther M. Friesner, Jack Dann, Jane Yolen, Patricia A. McKillip & Lisa Goldstein
Series: Adult Fairy Tales #1
In: Snow White, Blood Red (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: 17th December 2018 – 12th April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Signet
Year: 1993
5th sentence, 74th page: It’ll still mean that I’m willing to let someone die, just so I can have my own way.

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Synopsis

Snow White, Blood Red is a brand new collection of fairy tales. But be warned. It is not a collection for the faint-hearted. Or even one to lull the innocent towards the sleeping realms of dreams. For Snow White, Blood Red is a modern book of wonders: a boundless expanse of nightmares, lusts and fables for the grown-up child in us all.

Through richly imaginative retellings of existing fairy tales, twenty-one of the world’s top fantasy authors recreate the full mythical, magical, mind-bending power of humankind’s oldest fables. Prepare to be seduced by stories that bite – stories that are frightening, erotic, dark and compelling. Because as Terri Windling reminds us in the introduction: ‘Something still stirs inside us when we hear those old, evocative words: Once upon a time.’ Only this time, in this world, there is no happy ending…

Thoughts

I’ve had this book on my wish list for a very, very long time. So, when I finally managed to find a second hand copy and get it delivered to my door, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it. After all, I love fairy tales, I like stories with a dark twist, and I’m fascinated by retellings and the ways in which people are able to twist and turn classic themes to fit a more contemporary or recognisable setting. Which makes this kind of the perfect short story collection to sit on my shelves.

Some of the stories in this collection are kind of dark and twisted. Some are incredibly sexual. And some are just a great, contemporary retelling that makes childish fairy tales far more relatable. I got goosebumps reading some of these stories. While others left a smile on my face. You know it’s a fantastic collection when it takes you through the rollercoaster of emotions and leaves you feeling incredibly happy at the close of the last page.

Anybody who loves fantasy, horror or fairy tales, this is a great collection to add to your shelves. It is one that I won’t be getting out of my head anytime soon, that’s for sure…

<- Taking LoupLike a Red, Red Rose ->

Image source: Amazon

Stalking Beans by Nancy Kress

Overview
Image result for snow white, blood red book cover

Title: Stalking Beans
Author: Nancy Kress
In: Snow White, Blood Red (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Villains
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Signet
Year: 1993
5th sentence, 74th page: The hay is thick and yellow in the fields of the manor house.

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

Was Jack really the innocent that he seemed to be? Nancy Kress provides an incredibly different take on this traditional fairy tale, one that doesn’t shed the most flattering of lights on Jack’s adventures up the beanstalk.

Thoughts

It wasn’t until reading this story that made me seriously question the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. After all, it’s a great little fairy tale that we’ve all grown up with. Until you really start to think about the what he actually does. He breaks into a giant’s house, steals his belongings and kills the man. Alright, in the fairy tale he is trying to eat Jack, but what if that’s all a figment of his retelling? What if he was actually just a bit of a douche?

In this retelling, Jack is an adult, and he really doesn’t make any good life decisions. Slowly, but surely, he weaves himself a web of lies and deceit that entangles and ensnares. Leaving him not only the bad guy of the story, but sad, alone and really not in any position to judge others. Yet, there is still a sense of sympathy that you feel for Jack as he becomes the villain of his own story. An ability that I’ve only been able to find in the best of writers – feeling sympathy for the fool who is the creator of his own downfall.

 <- The Frog Prince ReviewSnow-Drop Review ->
Image source: Amazon