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.) 


  1. Right after this series came out, I read and reread them like crazy. I think some of the other collections are a little better balanced, perhaps.

  2. This one did seem heavy on certain tales -- lots of different takes on The Frog Prince and Sleeping Beauty, particularly. I've read some of their other collections in the past, and generally enjoy them (at least, when I'm in the mood for short stories).