Friday, December 18, 2020

Weekend Reads: Fairy Tales Punk'd, Edited by Phoebe Darqueling (Lauricia)

I have a confession. I haven’t read a lot worth recommending lately.

To be fair, it’s the fall semester at school. This means I’m uber-busy grading the assignments from my classes, and I have little time to read. However, in the time that I have carved out for reading, the books I’ve chosen lately have been… lackluster at best.

Until yesterday, when I started Fairy Tales Punk’d, a short story collection edited by Phoebe Darqueling. Technically released December 15th, I didn’t find it in my Kindle queue until late on the 16th. I had pre-ordered it because I’ve had the honor of working with Phoebe, so I’ve been looking forward to it for a while, but my schedule… Anyway, early on the morning of the 17th, I was able to start this long-awaited work. So far, it has been an excellent investment of my time.

This book is an anthology of fairy tale remixes told from a steampunk point of view. Although I’m only just able to indulge, the first story did not disappoint. Titled “Making Bones”, this steampunked retelling of Cinderella takes place in the mob-culture of early 1900’s America and does not end the way you expect it will. Subtle but effective in her incorporation of the story’s core elements, Darqueling does a fabulous job of making the story her own and offering a version that’s nothing like anything you’ve ever read before.

I devoured it, even though it meant I was sure to be late for work.

Then I moved on to the next story, titled “Star Tsarina”.

I didn’t get very far because I’m a rule-follower, and I really couldn’t be late for work. Someone needs to supervise all of those students, after all. But I got far enough to discover that the second story in the anthology is a science fiction version of Snow White. I think. I’m pretty sure. I’m definitely going to stay up way too late tonight to find out, because the early 1990’s Russia setting translated to interplanetary space is too intriguing to pass up. Who needs a good night’s sleep, anyway?

The good news is, the semester is over as of Friday and I can retreat into the deep cave of reading for pleasure as soon as my school’s last bell rings. Since this anthology has eleven stories which almost certainly include a Little Red Riding Hood retelling and a Rapunzel retelling based on the titles, I should be well satisfied for the first few days of my holiday.

I hope that you are finding a lot of time to indulge in reading, and I hope your reading choices all end in discovering good stories. As this is my last post for the year, I leave you with a prayer for a peaceful, joyful, and love-filled Christmas and a new year filled with fantasy that transports you beyond the mundane but also equips you with the courage to face the monsters in your world. We at Land’s Uncharted appreciate you readers and your support more than we can express, and we look forward to exploring the world of fantasy stories with you again throughout the next year.

Until then, Merry Christmas!

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