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The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales by Dominik…
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The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales

by Dominik Parisien (Editor), Navah Wolfe (Editor)

Other authors: Charlie Jane Anders (Contributor), Stella Bjorg (Illustrator), Aliette de Bodard (Contributor), Amal El-Mohtar (Contributor), Jeffrey Ford (Contributor)14 more, Max Gladstone (Contributor), Theodora Goss (Contributor), Daryl Gregory (Contributor), Kat Howard (Contributor), Stephen Graham Jones (Contributor), Margo Lanagan (Contributor), Marjorie Liu (Contributor), Seanan McGuire (Contributor), Garth Nix (Contributor), Naomi Novik (Contributor), Sofia Samatar (Contributor), Karin Tidbeck (Contributor), Catherynne M. Valente (Contributor), Genevieve Valentine (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
213989,520 (3.83)12
An all-new anthology of cross-genre fairy tale retellings, featuring an all-star lineup of award-winning and critically acclaimed writers. Once upon a time. It's how so many of our most beloved stories start. Fairy tales have dominated our cultural imagination for centuries. From the Brothers Grimm to the Countess d'Aulnoy, from Charles Perrault to Hans Christian Anderson, storytellers have crafted all sorts of tales that have always found a place in our hearts. Now a new generation of storytellers have taken up the mantle that the masters created and shaped their stories into something startling and electrifying. Packed with award-winning authors, this anthology explores an array of fairy tales in startling and innovative ways, in genres and settings both traditional and unusual, including science fiction, western, and post-apocalyptic as well as traditional fantasy and contemporary horror. From the woods to the stars, The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales takes readers on a journey at once unexpected and familiar, as a diverse group of writers explore some of our most beloved tales in new ways across genres and styles. Contains stories by: Charlie Jane Anders, Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-mohtar, Jeffrey Ford, Max Gladstone, Theodora Goss, Daryl Gregory, Kat Howard, Stephen Graham Jones, Margo Lanagan, Marjorie Liu, Seanan McGuire, Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Sofia Samatar, Karin Tidbeck, Catherynne M. Valente, and Genevieve Valentine.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Mythic Dream by Navah Wolfe (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: Excellent anthologies by some of the best editors in the business.
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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
When they say fairy tales retold, they don’t mean “Rapunzel in middle school” or “Cinderella in cyberpunk“. This is more “crank up the maturity by adding sex, drugs, and woman abuse” type of retelling. The themes are skewed toward “men are the devil, women are helpless”. The writing is parched and lifeless and bleak. “The man put a seed in her belly. She lay there while he lay on top of her and did his thing.” And I mean literally using the terms “did his thing”.

Everything screams “I AM WOMAN” and “my character is defined by my womanhood. Whether I spread my legs and let a man on top of me or a take a lover (male or female because love should be free) or I’m a woman in a man’s role. I scream womanness and I have no point beyond that but to be a woman and exist in relationship to men.”

I get that lots of fairy tales are about women suffering due to the actions of men. But when you’re revamping those tales for current sensibilities, they don’t all have to turn it on the same head. Viewing everything from the same lens is dull. Plus it makes everyone unlikable. And I certainly don’t want to read about it over and over.

Especially the female authors. They treat their stories like they’re an artsy short film–all experimental and pretentious. Some of them call it “playing with form”. I call it choosing form over function. Construct over content. Should a collection of short stories really be your experimental ground?

Oh, and two of the stories are of the “set in a world from another story I wrote” variety, and I HATE that. Making your short story as if it’s an advertisement for your other book series. No wonder short stories fell out of favor. ( )
  theWallflower | May 18, 2020 |
Perhaps, she thinks, what’s strange is the shoes women are made to wear: shoes of glass; shoes of paper; shoes of iron heated red–hot; shoes to dance to death in.

The two female protagonists of this story are both bound by their fairytale curses, and they must decide whether it's worth leaving them behind. I loved how this story was a classic fairytale and yet the opposite of one, and it also referenced many other stories about women and curses.

That being said... I roll my eyes at the Wikipedia stating "they become friends, and their lives change" because well. Harold. ( )
  runtimeregan | Jun 12, 2019 |
Thank you to Navah Wolfe for the OLUF Mystery Maccabee gift!
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In The Desert Like a Bone - 3. A good yarn, but a bit too message/moral heavy.
Underground - 3. Same as above. Tidbeck is too intent on driving home a certain message, and it clogs the story up. Additionally, the main character makes bizarre, out of character choices in order to fit with the original story structure. Still pretty decent, though.
Even the Crumbs Were Delicious - DNF.
The Super Ultra Duchess of Fedora Forest - 1. I just don't like Charlie Jane Anders' writing style.
Familiaris - 5. An utterly creepy, beautiful meditation on motherhood and female independence.
Seasons of Glass and Iron - 4. A really lovely and thought-provoking setup, but again the author is just a little too intent on hitting us over the head with her message.
Badgirl, the Deadman, and The Wheel of Fortune - 5. Look, there was never any question Valente was going to knock this one out of the park. She's one of the best fantasy writers alive today. This story is quite different than most of her other work, but it's still outstanding in every way. Adore.
Penny for a Match, Mister? - 5. Also very good. I'm not usually a fan of short stories in anthologies like this being set in the world of an author's other work, especially one I haven't read, but this one works quite well. Creepy and excellent.
Some Wait - 2. I was confused by what exactly was happening in this one. Weird, and not in a good way.
The Thousand Eyes - 4. Ford captures the atmospheric creepiness of this story masterfully. Excellent sense of place.
Giants in the Sky - 3. Funny, but Gladstone's worldbuilding is so skimpy I had a great deal of trouble following the story.
The Briar and the Rose - 4. What a wonderful romance.
The Other Thea - 2. Goss has created an interesting world, but she's far too intent on smacking the story's moral over our heads. This story needs a defter, more subtle hand.
When I Lay Frozen - 1. I really hate Margo Lanagan's writing. It just doesn't do it for me.
Pearl - 5. Unexpectedly gorgeous and lovely. Just really powerful, wonderful writing. Maybe I should be reading more of de Bodard.
The Tale of Mahliya and Mauhub and the White-Footed Gazelle - 3. I reaaaally wanted to love this one. I really liked that Samatar picked a mostly unknown tale, and I appreciated the style that she was going for. But Samatar meanders, loses her train of thought, and generally fails to live up to the story's potential.
Reflected - 1. The 'scientific' twist on the fairytale is just so lame. If you're going to use science, then at least provide the most basic veneer of scientific mumbo jumbo. The narrator and her friends just set up a bunch of mirrors in a lab. Big whoop.
Spinning Silver - 5. Look, Novick is at the top of her game here and she knows it. I am so excited for the novel-length version of this story. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
3.5 stars. I love fairy tales and retellings of fairy tales. But I also have a love-hate relationship with anthologies, because there’s always stories I don’t like. No exception here.

My favorites were:
Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar (striking, worth every award it got)
The Briar and the Rose by Marjorie Liu (I want a longer version of this!)
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak (fun to read the short story after recently reading the novel she turned it into. The same seed, but a different story.)

I also liked:
In the Desert like a Bone by Seanan McGuire (a revenge Western)
Penny for a Match, Mister by Garth Nix (another revenge Western. Now I really want to read his story Crossing the Line set in the same universe)
Giants in the Sky by Max Gladstone (a fun but also post-apocalyptic sci fi tale)
The Other Thea by Theodora Goss (a witchy YA)

I was scarred by reading (starting to read, because I stopped) Badgirl etc. by Catherine Valente. Love her work but this one needed a trigger warning. Some terrible child abuse here.
Recommend a trigger warning for Even the Crums were Delicious too. ( )
  chavala | Dec 29, 2018 |
This was so beautiful! Everything about this story was perfect, I loved the message of love and support; how women blame themselves for what men do to them, how women can heal one another...ugh THIS WAS SO GOOD ( )
  ElleGato | Sep 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Parisien, DominikEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, NavahEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Anders, Charlie JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bjorg, StellaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Bodard, AlietteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
El-Mohtar, AmalContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, JeffreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gladstone, MaxContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goss, TheodoraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gregory, DarylContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Howard, KatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, Stephen GrahamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lanagan, MargoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Liu, MarjorieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGuire, SeananContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nix, GarthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Novik, NaomiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Samatar, SofiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tidbeck, KarinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Valente, Catherynne M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Valentine, GenevieveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carre, BenjaminCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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An all-new anthology of cross-genre fairy tale retellings, featuring an all-star lineup of award-winning and critically acclaimed writers.

Once upon a time. It’s how so many of our most beloved stories start.

Fairy tales have dominated our cultural imagination for centuries. From the Brothers Grimm to the Countess d’Aulnoy, from Charles Perrault to Hans Christian Anderson, storytellers have crafted all sorts of tales that have always found a place in our hearts.

Now a new generation of storytellers have taken up the mantle that the masters created and shaped their stories into something startling and electrifying.

Packed with award-winning authors, this anthology explores an array of fairy tales in startling and innovative ways, in genres and settings both traditional and unusual, including science fiction, western, and post-apocalyptic as well as traditional fantasy and contemporary horror.

From the woods to the stars, The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales takes readers on a journey at once unexpected and familiar, as a diverse group of writers explore some of our most beloved tales in new ways across genres and styles.
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