Cabinet of Wonders, 4.4.15

Cabinet of Wonders, Metaphysical Circus Press

Cabinet of Wonders with Owl and Cat, by Rowan Randol

Web fiction reviews, by Lauren Colie

Today, take comfort in stories your grandmother might tell. Fables, folklore and fairy tales that dance tantalizingly beyond the real fill the cabinet. A little classic, a lot creepy and certainly worth sharing, check these out for short spurts of nostalgia.

A Review of The Good Son, by Naomi Kritzer at Lightspeed Magazine

One night the bus was late, and I thought about making a door to Minneapolis. What am I doing riding around on a bus like a mortal? I am Fey. I don’t need to do this.

And then a darker echo of the thought. I am Fey. I don’t need to do any of this.

Playing a mortal isn’t an easy gig, especially when you adopt a sick mother and fickle father to impress the girl you followed halfway around the world. Gaidion’s brother warns loving a human girl will bring nothing but sadness and regret, and he couldn’t be more correct. How much will Gaidion take to love Maggie?

Naomi Kritzer gives a glimpse of what happens when the human doesn’t fall into the fairy hill, but the fey follows the human home. With crisp divisions between sections that intrigue and propel the drama forward, this reinvented fairy tale packs a powerful emotional punch into fewer than 7000 words. Open the door to Gaidion and Maggie’s relationship for this non-traditional, fairly fey love story.

Read it HERE

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A Review of Trollbooth, by Maureen Tanafon at Crossed Genres

The fairies didn’t have them. The rock was from the bridge; the bridge beyond the wood. I had thought the fairies would have stopped them before they got there, that they would have that much care.

But no. Now I had to deal with the Troll.

Upping the storybook ante, Maureen Tanafon blends an invalid stepmother, ineffectual hunters, fairies. trolls and sacrifice in one disturbing tale of stolen children. Just wait to see the deal this girl strikes to get her siblings back; the troll might not be the only villain to watch…

Exciting and innovative, “Trollbooth” demands more out of the classic Hansel and Gretel arc than the tale has ever given. Cross the bridge into this one at your own risk. Be sure you have the appropriate fare to make it across.

Read it HERE

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A Review of City of Salt, by Arkady Martine at Strange Horizons

“I am not ashamed of leaving,” Ammar said. I turned to face him and he met my eyes. One corner of his mouth turned up, a smile like biting into a sour citrus. “I meant to do it. But I’m sorry that I didn’t make you come with me.”

I am the jackal gnawing on the bones of the city; I am the city, being devoured. I stayed. I earned it. “I would never have gone.”

One more love story to wrap up your reading. Well, as close to a love story as any of these cautionary tales can get. This one gets our narrative lineage out of the eurozone and into the richness of a desert setting. Does love die when a city dies? Can a visiting poet quiet the rage of a murderous mage?

Arkady Martine poses these questions and more about an encounter with the last resident of the City of Salt. See this woman scorned take her sorrow to an extreme after the gardens of her reign dry up and blow away just like the king and the city she followed. Check this tale out for riffing on the theme of reimagining the past.

Read it HERE

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