Ann and Jeff VanderMeer have just announced their next big project: The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, to be published by Vintage Books. This book, like their Big Book of Science Fiction, will be a massive undertaking, collecting fiction from roughly 1850 up to WWII.
I’m incredibly excited about the project, but I’m particularly excited for this part of Jeff’s post:
“We’re also very happy to have Dominik Parisien on board as an editorial consultant for this project. Dominik is the co-editor of stellar anthologies such as the current The Starlit Wood.”
Yes, I will be joining them on their adventures in classic fantasy! The VanderMeers have a strong international focus to their books, so you can be sure this is going to be a bold, ambitious project.
Kelsi Morris and Kaitlin Tremblay’s anthology Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creatures, Myths, and Monsters (Exile Editions) was released on November 1st, and it includes my story “Where Roots and Rivers Run as Veins”, which was longlisted for the Carter V. Cooper $10,000 Short Fiction Contest.
The book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly: This all-Canadian anthology of fantastical stories, featuring emerging writers alongside award-winning novelists, poets, and playwrights, is original, elegant, often poetic, sometimes funny, always thought-provoking, and a must for lovers of short fiction.
My contribution was, according to the reviewer, one of the standout stories and this is what they had to say about it: Dominik Parisien’s “Where Roots and Rivers Run as Veins” is an epistolary story that unfolds gracefully, with just the right balance between the sinister and the liberating.
There was a launch earlier this month in Toronto at the See-Scape bar, and it was a lot of fun. We had a huge number of readers (9, I think?) and by the end the bar was over capacity. A very successful event indeed!
The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales was released exactly one month ago. How has it fared up to this point? Well, Navah and I are certainly pleased with the results so far! Pretty damn pleased, I’d say. Here’s some of what’s happened since the release day (which was also eventful, as you can see here).
We launched the book at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio, and the response was incredible. Our party suite was full to bursting, and we sold out of books. The launch was a joint party with the fine folks at Uncanny Magazine, and Uncanny’s Michael Damien Thomas proved invaluable in our planning efforts. We were also lucky enough to have some of our authors on hand to celebrate with us and sign books: Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone, Genevieve Valentine, Jeffrey Ford, and Daryl Gregory.
Here we are, amidst the chaos of the launch party.
- Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog: For fairy tale aficionados, this volume is a must-read; for those interested in sampling the work of some of the best short fiction writers in sci-fi and fantasy today, it is no less essential.
- Portland Herald Press: Clever, touching, frightening, funny and frequently surprising, “The Starlit Wood” shines with magical possibility.
- Tor.com: The Starlit Wood furthers the conversation that surrounds the evolution of fairy tales in the context of a society that’s removed itself significantly from the world these tales originated from. What are our needs, now, as an audience? You’ll have to wander through the woods (and beyond) to find an answer, but it will be a wondrous journey.
- Black Gate Magazine: Are you searching for that fairy tale feeling in your own reading life? That deepening, that enrichening, that gilding and scarifying and ensorcelling of your inner landscape that changes the way you see the outside world in a myriad small ways? If so, then The Starlit Wood is the marvel-limned, shadow-skinned, witch-infested, magic-invested place to start.
- The Little Red Reviewer: If you were ever fascinated by fairy tales as a child, if you have ever read a fairy tale to a child and watched their face light up, this is an anthology for you.
These are in addition to the excellent early press from Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and The Romantic Times, as well as a number of reviews on various blogs.
Articles, Essays, and Other Things
Today we also announced the winner of our Twitter draw for the beautiful The Starlit Wood pendant, made by Elise Matthesen. Congratulations, A.C. Wise!
We’ll have some more exciting things to announce soon, so check back!
THE STARLIT WOOD: NEW FAIRY TALES is out today! Navah and I are incredibly happy to have our anthology out in the world. We love everything about this book, and we hope you’ll love it too!
To celebrate the book’s release we have a Big Idea guest post on John Scalzi’s Whatever. In it we discuss the potential of fairy tale retellings to work within various genres. Take a look!
Navah also has an essay at The Mary Sue in which she discusses feminism and representation in The Starlit Wood. You can read it here.
I also have a post here with early reviews, blurbs, and other links.
Happy book day!
The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales is launching TOMORROW! Curious about the book? Want to know why Navah and I are so excited to share these stories with the world? Well, in honour of the impending release here’s a post about some of the wonderful early press the book has received! (And we’ll have a lot more stuff in the upcoming week.)
- Booklist: “This anthology is consistent throughout, with well-crafted writing and a tantalizing taste of each author’s unique journey into reimagining classic fairy tales for a new audience.”
- Library Journal: “A great pick for readers looking for a fresh, diverse spin on standard fairy tales.”
- Publishers Weekly: “A rich sample of what awaits us in the world of fairy tales…well worth making time to read.”
- Romantic Times: “Its stories strip old tales down to the bone and build from those frames new, relatable, yet still magical stories”
Blurbs! (in case you missed them the first time around)
- Terri Windling: The modern revival of fairy tale fiction for adults began in the 20th century (with the stories of Angela Carter and Tanith Lee), and The Starlit Wood is proof that the revival is still going strong. Editors Parisien and Wolfe have brought a wide range of writers together to blaze new trails through the dark of the woods. Whether you’re passionate about fairy tales, like I am, or haven’t read them since childhood, I recommend this excellent anthology. I simply loved it.
- Jeff VanderMeer: “A classy, smart, and entertaining volume of stories put together with consummate care—and featuring the best and most exciting fantasy writers working in the field today.”
- Jonathan Carroll: “Lots of strange and wonderful goings-on in THE STARLIT WOOD. Fairy tales you thought you’d left behind in childhood are back in some very poignant, sly and original versions that will touch the “Wow!” in most readers.”
More Neat Things!
I have been waiting most of my life to write this essay.
For the longest time I didn’t know how, because I lacked the language and the understanding for it. About six months ago I was reading articles on Lewis Carroll and I stumbled on a phenomenon I’ve been trying to explain since childhood: Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. It was a revelation to me.
I decided to write about it. Initially I was simply going to post it online, but I shared the essay with a few friends and they told me I should send it out on submission. My co-editor, Navah Wolfe, suggested Uncanny Magazine, a magazine I love. To my great surprise the editors loved it, and now here it is, online for everyone to read.
“Growing Up In Wonderland” is a deeply personal essay about my experience with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. In it I discuss the condition, other elements of my disability, fairy tales, and how all of it has affected my career.
I had a bad Alice in Wonderland Syndrome episode last night, as well as a convulsive episode. I slept maybe an hour. These things happen often, but last night it just seemed weirdly fitting.
Uncanny’s podcast interviewer, Deborah Stanish, also interviewed me about the essay. She had some excellent questions, and I was a bit surprised by my responses. I tend not to share all that much about my medical condition online, but writing the essay seems to have made me more comfortable with sharing details about it.
My section starts at 54:00 and I talk for a few minutes about the essay. Navah and I were also interviewed about The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, which starts right after my section. Deborah had some great questions about the book and our process for the project.
We are less than two months away from the release of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. TWO MONTHS. Everything from the stories to the cover to the artwork to the absurdly beautiful design has Navah and I excited.
In anticipation of that, we decided to share some of the early praise the book has received. Below are blurbs by Terri Windling, Jeff VanderMeer, and Jonathan Carroll. The fact that these amazing people loved our book already makes it all worth it.
The modern revival of fairy tale fiction for adults began in the 20th century (with the stories of Angela Carter and Tanith Lee), and The Startlit Wood is proof that the revival is still going strong. Editors Parisien and Wolfe have brought a wide range of writers together to blaze new trails through the dark of the woods. Whether you’re passionate about fairy tales, like I am, or haven’t read them since childhood, I recommend this excellent anthology. I simply loved it.
– Terri Windling, World Fantasy Award-winning editor of the Snow White, Blood Red series
“A classy, smart, and entertaining volume of stories put together with consummate care—and featuring the best and most exciting fantasy writers working in the field today.”
– Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times-bestselling author of the Southern Reach trilogy
Lots of strange and wonderful goings-on in THE STARLIT WOOD. Fairy tales you thought you’d left behind in childhood are back in some very poignant, sly and original versions that will touch the “Wow!” in most readers.
– Jonathan Carroll, World Fantasy-Award winning author