Monday, February 20, 2012
Silver Birch, Blood Moon, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
While on a short vacation, I read Silver Birch, Blood Moon -- a short story collection edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow. Like many of their compilations, it's made up of fairy tale retellings for grown-ups. I was fascinated at the almost defensive-sounding introduction . . . fairy tale retellings for adults and teens are so prevalent now, but were decidedly less common in 1999, when this book was published. It's a sub-genre of fantasy that has really exploded in the past twelve years.
As with all short story collections, the stories vary in quality. I picked this book up because a LibraryThing friend mentioned that it contains a Robin McKinley short story, one that I hadn't read before. Of all the stories in the book, that was probably the one I enjoyed the most (though she did saddle the line of kings in the story with an unintentionally ridiculous-sounding name). There's also a very nice short piece by Neil Gaiman. Several others were quite good, a few were mediocre, and one urban retelling of Snow White I skipped after reading only a page or so.
(Review copy borrowed through my library system.)