Monday, February 20, 2012
Books I Want: The Datlow and Windling Collections
I've been obsessed with a particular fantasy series for a while now: the short story and poem collections by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.
The most recent book I'm enjoying in that series is The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest. These stories riff off the idea of the stag/man who is the father of the forest. Sometimes it's a woman in those old myths, leaves decorating her hair and tumbling out of her mouth. Each of these stories twists the original somehow, resulting in brand-new fairy/folk tales.
Some collections like this feature authors no one's ever heard of, but these authors are usually well-established in fantasy, and each tale is very well done. Authors in this collection include Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Gregory Maguire, and Patricia McKillip.
I'm about halfway through this collection, and as usual, it's a winner. So far, my favorite story is "Charlie's Away" by Midori Snyder, which features a boy who thinks he has to be everything for his parents, since his sister died. After he gets accepted into college, the pressure is too much for him, so he disappears into the forest and makes an incredible discovery.
One of my favorite elements of these stories is the author's note at the end of each one, telling how the author came up with the idea. Sometimes the extra information provides a whole new view of the story; sometimes it's just neat to see into an author's head.
The previous book I read in this collection was The Coyote Road, which I got for Spousal Unit. (He loves trickster tales.)
After The Green Man, I plan to read The Faery Reel.
And maybe after that, I'll read The Beastly Bride, their most recent collection, which features shapeshifter stories.
I could read nothing but their collections for the rest of the year and not grow bored of them.